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30 October, 1998
Prime Minister Costas Simitis yesterday announced a minor reshuffle, appointing new heads in three ministries and establishing a new ministry to the prime minister and called for a confidence vote on his new government next week.
The government now comprises 20 ministries, with 19 ministers, 22 deputy ministers and one alternate minister. Yiannos Papantoniou remains in charge of both the national economy and the finance ministry portfolios.
The most notable change is the ouster of George Romeos at the ministry of public order, who is replaced by hitherto Macedonia-Thrace minister Philippos Petsalnikos.
George Anomeritis and Yiannis Magriotis, who are cabinet newcomers, will take over the agriculture and Macedonia-Thrace ministries, respectively, while outgoing health minister Costas Geitonas is assuming the new ministry to the prime minister, responsible for relations between the government and Parliament.
Also outgoing are five deputy ministers, including two in the agriculture ministry, and one each in labor and social security, transport, and health and welfare.
In a letter to Parliament President Apostolos Kaklamanis, Mr. Simitis has asked for a convening of the plenum for a debate and the provision of a confidence vote to the new government.
The debate will start on Sunday and is expected to end with a confidence vote on Tuesday evening.
"The government enjoys the Parliament's confidence only if it receives an absolute majority of all deputies. This is the premier's and the government's position," government spokesman Dimitris Reppas said in announcing the reshuffle.
The new ministers and deputy ministers will be sworn in at 11 a.m. this morning.
Source: Athens News Agency