Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras promised Tuesday to speed up austerity reforms a day after being forced to reshuffle his cabinet due to a political crisis triggered by the closure of state broadcaster ERT.
Samaras’ year-old coalition government narrowly avoided collapse after he ordered the sudden closure of ERT on June 11, firing all 2,656 employees.
Junior member Democratic Left pulled out of the coalition last week over the issue, leaving Samaras with a slender majority in parliament, controlling 153 of the 300 seats. In a cabinet reshuffle on Monday, he handed key posts to the coalition government’s minority Socialist party.
“This government doesn’t have a moment to lose,” Samaras told his new cabinet shortly after the swearing-in ceremony. “Stability is today more necessary than ever.”
Greece has promised to axe 15,000 public sector jobs by the end of next year as part of cuts demanded by bailout creditors, the International Monetary Fund and other euro countries.
Debt inspectors from the “troika” of the IMF, European Union and European Central Bank are due to return to Athens next week to determine if the reforms are on track and Greece can keep receiving its loans.
The EU rescue fund, the European Financial Stability Facility, confirmed Tuesday it had paid out its latest installment, worth 3.3 billion euros ($4.3 billion).
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