Evangelos Venizelos is the new “Czar” of the Greek debt-ridden economy. The 54-year-old Minister, until Friday morning Minister of Defence, takes charge of the Finance Ministry in one of the most critical periods for the country. He will head the government’s economic team with Deputy Ministers Philippos Sachinidis (deputy also in former gov) and Pantelis Oikonomou.
Evangelos Venizelos is the central charakter of the government reshuffle, as George Papaconstantinou was targeted by many governing party deputies in recent times. Papaconstantinou will now be in charge for Environment, Energy & Climate Change.
Venizelos’ view on finance and economy have not been known. However, the former Professor for Constitutional Law is an expert on how democracy and state structures funtion.
Just last Sunday, he told newspaper Proto Thema, that the Mid-Term Austerity Package should pass through the Parliament with a strenghtened-majority of 3/5 of the Parliament votes. This mean, 180 votes would be needed. Governing party PASOK has 155 seats in a Parliament of 300.
Venizelos is expected to speak more ‘politics’ with Greece’s lenders in EU, the IMF and the Eurogroup and less ‘economic figures’. And, believe me, those who know Venizelos, can tell you long stories about the abilities and skills of the new Finance Minister to argue tireless without dot and comma – maybe a semicolon here and there – until he convinces his conversation partner. He is ambitious and target-oriented. He speaks English and French.
Evangelos Venizelos has been a member of PASOK Central Committe since 1990. The party veteran challenged George Papandreou for the party leadership in 2007. But he lost because of his much too impulsive handling o fthe issue…
Chosing Venizelos, PM Papandreou made also a smart move to eliminate possible
Read more on Ev. Venizelos HERE
He may be able to get a less bad deal, but he must have agreed to the austerity and privatization measures in the first place, or Papandreou would not have chosen him. I think austerity measures in a recession will hurt the Greek economy further. If the politicians were thinking about the people, and not the banks or their foreign leader friends, I think they would have just defaulted.
According to the Guardian, Venizelos will be aiming his persuasive skills at the people– to swallow the medicine of austerity:
he should use his skills to persuade the Troika to swallow changes, not the citizens- apart form that, how many are Venizelos’ supporters?