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Greek prime minister reshuffles cabinet after European elections

Greece Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis speaks during a parliament session in Athens, 28 March 2024
Greece Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis speaks during a parliament session in Athens, 28 March 2024 Copyright AP Photo/Yorgos Karahalis
Copyright AP Photo/Yorgos Karahalis
By Euronews with AP
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Mitsotakis' new cabinet aims to focus on cost-of-living and labour policies following a successful European campaign.

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Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis tweaked his cabinet on Friday with a focus on cost-of-living and labour policies after his centre-right party's victory in European elections.

Despite a recent dip in inflation, polls consistently show most Greeks’ top concern is the cost of living since the pandemic and Russia’s war on Ukraine contributed to rising prices in the southern European country.

Takis Theodorikakos, 59, who previously held the interior and public order portfolios, will head the development ministry, which is largely responsible for supervising consumer prices.

Mitsotakis' centre-right New Democracy party easily came first in the 9 June European parliamentary elections, gaining 28.3% of the vote — nearly twice the left-wing main opposition Syriza party's 14.9%.

Even though that expanded ND's lead over Syriza in the previous European elections, it was seen as a lacklustre showing for the governing party, which slid nearly 5% compared to the 2019 vote. Turnout was low, with nearly six in 10 voters abstaining, and fringe right-wing parties all recorded gains.

Mitsotakis also replaced his ministers for labour, the interior, and agriculture and appointed former Defence Minister Nikos Panagiotopoulos to replace Migration Minister Dimitris Kairidis. Greece is a key entry point for thousands of migrants seeking a better life in the European Union. Most arrive in small boats from Turkey, but arrivals have decreased in recent years.

The key finance, foreign affairs and defence portfolios remained unchanged.

Mitsotakis swept to power in 2019, following more than four years of government by Syriza during the country's financial crisis, and was reelected in a landslide victory last summer.

The new ministers will be formally sworn in later Friday, and the first cabinet meeting will be held Saturday.

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