Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades says this week reshuffle of his Cabinet will serve the government agenda, while blaming the opposition for his coalition-style approach falling flat.
Anastasiades said on Tuesday that the aim of his Cabinet reshuffle was to serve the government agenda including all declarations pertaining to the Recovery and Resilience plan.
The president, who addressed a crowd of supporters during an evening ceremony for EOKA in Episkopeio, Nicosia district, had earlier finalized his new Cabinet by a appointing Stefi Drakou as new justice minister and Michalis Hadjipantelas as new the health minister.
Asked by reporters about former house speaker Adamos Adamou, who was the president’s top pick for health minister in a coalition-style approach, Anastasiades blamed the MP’s refusal on political pressure.
Left party AKEL had previously expressed frustration over the president’s effort to enlist Adamou for a Cabinet spot, citing gigantic differences between the government and the MP’s political camp of the left.
AKEL had expressed frustration over the president’s effort to enlist Adamou for a Cabinet spot, citing gigantic differences between the government and the MP’s political family on the left
Anastasiades, who offered the position to Adamou and told him to sleep on it, said he was very sorry after the former speaker turned him down.
“I am truly sad about this, instead of trying to do what’s good for the country, others have weighed in and managed to block a most capable citizen from serving his country,” Anastasiasdes said.
The president, who was attending an unveiling of a statue in memory of an EOKA fighter, told his audience that “we have been accused many times of backing down, but not on matters of principle, not on matters of dignity.”
Anastasiades was criticized by political pundits of seeking a coalition-style approach to soften the government’s image, after outgoing justice minister Emily Yiolitis published a harsh resignation letter she had written to the President.
Yiolitis, who resigned last week following a barrage of bad publicity that implicated her as the weakest link, said she was deeply hurt by comments made by the President during a phone call they had ahead of the Cabinet reshuffle.
Anastasiades has also asked Marios Pelekanos to become the government spokesman while Niovi Parissinou will be deputy government spokesperson.
Anastasia Anthousi is appointed as Deputy Minister for Social Welfare, Andreas Iosif will be the new Director of the President’s Press Office, with his predecessor Victoras Papadopoulos taking on a top position across the street where he will be responsible for matters involving the foreign press.
Last month Anastasiades unveiled a “Cyprus, Tomorrow” plan which he described as a necessary development model for the future, calling it a “road map in the post-COVID era” that will allow the country to address the economic and social impact of the pandemic but also become “a step forward in the direction of a productive restructuring.”
“It is an ambitious yet realistic plan for not only rebooting the economy but also creating a new vision for our country that will be implemented thanks to the National Recovery and Resilience Plan we have put together,” the president said.
But the government will need enough votes to get the plan approved by a new parliament, where political and ideological divisions were recently reinforced.
Earlier this month, ruling conservative party DISY crushed any speakership hopes of the opposition by managing to elect electing Annita Demetriou as House Speaker, the first-ever woman to preside over parliament in the Republic of Cyprus.