New pro-reform, pro-market Mitsotakis govt in Greece emerges with majority mandate

Monday, 08 July 2019 12:56

Leader of New Democracy conservative party and winner of Greek general election Kyriakos Mitsotakis is sworn in as prime minister during a ceremony at the Presidential Palace in Athens, Greece July 8, 2019. REUTERS/Alkis Konstantinidis

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Kyriakos Mitsotakis will be sworn-in just after 1 p.m. (11 GMT) at the presidential mansion in downtown Athens on Monday, with the Archbishop of Athens and All Greece, Ieronymos, swearing-in the new Greek prime minister, in the presence of Greek President Prokopis Pavlopoulos as well as Mitsotakis' family and a small group of close friends and associates.

Earlier, Mitsotakis held a brief closed-door meeting with Greece's ceremonial head of state, Pavlopoulos. What's noteworthy is the fact that although both men have been long-time cadres of the center-right party, Mitsotakis declined to vote for Pavlopoulos in February 2015 as president of the republic - a very public rebuke at the time for the long-time politician. The head of state in Greece is elected by the 300-member Parliament, not by popular vote.

The last time a prime minister assumed power in Greece with a majority of Parliament MPs was in October 2009, when George Papandreou and his socialist PASOK won a landslide victory.

Additionally, Mitsotakis will take a religious oath, using the Bible, a departure from 2015, when outgoing prime minister Alexis Tsipras departed from tradition and took a political oath, based on Greece's constitution, both in January 2015 and September 2015.

After the ceremony at the presidential mansion, Mitsotakis will walk only a few dozen meters across a side street to the Maximos Mansion, where the seat of government has been based for the past few decades.

He will be received by Tsipras, with a brief encounter expected, along with statements before television cameras before a hand-over of the office. It's also noteworthy to point out that then outgoing premier Antonis Samaras did not hold a handover ceremony when Tsipras assumed the office in January 2015.

Members of the new Cabinet will be announced later in the day, before ministers and deputy ministers are sworn-in and convene the first Cabinet meeting.


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