Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis on Tuesday, August 4, 2020, will announce “operational improvements” in his government, his spokesman said as the country seeks to quell a rise in coronavirus infections after reopening to tourism.
The announcement on what is expected to be a limited reshuffle will be made at midday (0900 GMT), government spokesman Stelios Petsas said.
“We are talking about improving the government’s performance as we head into major challenges,” a lawmaker of the government’s conservative New Democracy party, Kostas Karagounis, told state TV ERT, pointing to the ongoing tourism season and the risks of the coronavirus pandemic.
Greece has seen COVID-19 infections increase this month to levels last seen in April, with officials blaming overcrowding in clubs and social events.
Since July 1 there have been over 340 confirmed infections among nearly 1.3 million incoming travellers, according to the civil protection agency.
News reports said the overhaul was also designed to improve the government’s coordination in managing Greece’s share in a 750-billion-euro ($884-billion) recovery package agreed by EU leaders last month.
Greece stands to receive 32 billion euros from the Next Generation EU scheme.
A reshuffle had been expected since June, when Mitsotakis dropped a hint about “corrective moves” in the government during a visit to Israel.
Just over a year after coming to power, Mitsotakis’ New Democracy party leads in opinion polls by at least 14 percent.
The economy is expected to contract by 5.8 percent this year according to the Bank of Greece, partly because of the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on tourism revenue.