Caretaker government to keep a low profile

Caretaker Prime Minister Panayiotis Pikrammenos asked his new cabinet Thursday to tread carefully over the next few weeks and to respect the testing situation the country finds itself in.

“I would like this government to set an example of a different type of behavior, which the Greek people, who have been severely tested, will be able to respect,” Pikrammenos, previously the president of the Council of State, told his ministers in their first meeting.

The Cabinet was announced early in the morning. The government, which at the request of the political parties will only have an administrative role, is mostly made up of university professors, former ministers and diplomats.

Economist and university professor Giorgos Zannias was given the hot seat at the Finance Ministry. He had previously served as an economic adviser to the government. Former Foreign Minister Petros Molyviatis is returning to the role he held with the New Democracy government elected in 2004. The head of the Foundation for Economic and Industrial Research (IOBE), Yiannis Stournaras, joins the government as development minister.

None of the members of the government will claim wages during their time in office, which will last until June 17, when new elections will be held. “We all earn an income from our main professions so I do not see the need for us to earn any extra money for the next 30 days,” said Molyviatis. Pikrammenos asked his ministers to keep their travel expenses to a minimum.

The caretaker government has a purely administrative role, with no authority to adopt any new measures or negotiate with Greece’s lenders. The premier asked his cabinet not to comment on any “wider issues” and to limit themselves to matters relating to their ministries.

It was also decided that Molyviatis and Defense Minister Frangos Frangoulis, the former head of the army general staff, will represent Greece at a May 20-21 NATO summit.

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