ATHENS - Prime Minister George Papandreou will personally handle foreign affairs in the Cabinet he announced yesterday, which merges portfolios, creates a new Environment Ministry, and places women in key posts.
Papandreou, 57, a Socialist, was sworn in after his crushing election victory over the scandal-battered conservatives, chiefly won on promises of reviving the country’s faltering economy.
He handed the key Finance Ministry to party spokesman George Papaconstantinou, 48, while Louka Katseli, 57, an economics professor at Athens University, was appointed to the new post of economy, competitiveness, and shipping minister.
Greece’s first Environment, Energy and Climate Change Ministry will be headed by Tina Birbili, a close Papandreou aide and one of five women among the 15 ministers named.
Papandreou, a former foreign minister and scion of one of Greece’s two main political dynasties, follows in the footsteps of his father Andreas and grandfather George, who both served several terms as prime minister.
After being sworn in by the leader of the Greek Orthodox Church, Archbishop Ieronymos of Athens, at the presidential mansion, Papandreou walked to the neighboring prime ministerial office for the hand-over from outgoing prime minister Costas Karamanlis, who had run the country since 2004.