Barrage of closed meetings at the PM’s office – Outstanding issues and malfunctions of the first four years in the foreground

Interventions that will have a direct impact on the fields of the citizen’s daily life are sought by the government, which is also in the final stretch of preparation for the programmatic statements. A series of outstanding issues (such as secondary legislation) but also the correction of malfunctions that come from the first four-year period are on the table of Kyriakos Mitsotakis and his staff.

The barrage of closed – not announced publicly – meetings of the prime minister with his ministers and with the participation of, among others, close confidantes Stavros Papastavros and Akis Skertsos and the deputy minister Thanasis Kontogeorgis has a double aim: on the one hand, it is the exchange of proposals and a detailed consultation on the programmatic statements of the government, which the prime minister will open next Thursday afternoon, on the one hand is the coordination to launch actions as soon as possible, which will leave a “social” imprint.

Only yesterday and within a few hours, Mitsotakis opened three different agendas in Maximou (public administration, education, labor), inviting his executives to internal discussions, while today, with his morning visit to thw Health Ministry, he continues the extended information meetings and coordination in the ministerial offices.

What Mitsotakis will discuss with Chrysochoidis today

Specifically, Mitsotakis will go to the Ministry of Health in a few hours (at 10 am) for a meeting with the leadership team, as “better public health” and the “new NHS” are top commitments for the second government term.  Present at the meeting will be Minister Michalis Chrysochoidis, who is already holding his own meetings with health officials in order to be informed, Deputy Minister Irini Agapidakis, who is now negative for the coronavirus, as well as the two deputy ministers, Dimitris Vartzopoulos, who is expected to take over mainly the “portfolio” of mental health and Marios Themistokleous who will run issues in public hospitals.

In the focus is ambulance service EKAB and the need for a faster response in the background of (dramatic) incidents that have occurred lately, the strengthening of the public system with tenured doctors, the problematic image of cots in the hospital corridors, the digital transformation, the expansion of the programs prevention and the modernization of 80 hospitals and 156 health centers, along with the creation of 315 telemedicine units also using resources from the Recovery Fund.

The new ER and the personal doctor

Besides, the Health leadership team has already studied the “blue file” with goals and reforms for a four-year horizon. At the cutting edge of the debate is expected – as one of the immediate moves – the interventions for EKAB. The objectives are, based on the planning, the provision of first aid in 7-10 minutes from the call, the formation of mixed immediate intervention teams as quickly as possible with the utilization of personnel from three services (EKAB, Armed Forces, Fire Brigade – EMAK) as well as the creation project six new airlift bases with leased services from abroad.

Also high on the list of priorities are improving regulations to unblock the “personal doctor” measure, an institution that was decided by the previous term but faces problems in practice.

Work issues at the forefront

At the same time, labor issues are at the forefront. After the visit of Mitsotakis to the Ministry of Finance and the one and a half hour meeting with the political leadership (Kostis Hatzidakis, Nikos Papathanasis, Haris Theoharis, Thanos Petralias) last week, the Prime Minister called the leadership of the Ministry of Labor to his office at the Maximos Mansion yesterday. Minister Adonis Georgiadis and Deputy Ministers Vassilis Spanakis and Panos Tsakloglou sat at the table.

The subject of the meeting was, according to information, issues of working conditions in tourism after the incident in Rhodes, while the immediate objectives of the ministry are the reduction of bureaucracy and the simplification of the ERGANI labor reporting system in order to facilitate the extension of the digital work card.

ASEP and the staff state

According to the same information, a meeting was also held with the Minister of the Interior Niki Kerameos and the Deputy Minister Vivi Charalambogianni. Besides, Maximos is launching a reform in the operation of the ASEP state hiring procedure in order to speed up recruitment, while the first bill of the new four-year period will concern the staff state No2, i.e. regulations in the public administration to improve state-citizen relations, for the internal organization of ministries, etc.

The hiring of educational staff, but mainly issues of digitization of Education, were at the core of Mitsotakis’ approximately one-hour discussion with the Minister of Education, Kyriakos Pierrakakis.

Meetings are also scheduled today in order to lock down the content of the prime minister’s position as well as the interventions of the ministers in the program statements that start on Thursday and end on Saturday. Mitsotakis will unexpectedly have a special meeting on Friday at the Ministry of Climate Crisis with Minister Vassilis Kikilias and Deputy Ministers Christos Triandopoulos and Evangelos Tournas on the ongoing fire fighting season.

The message that Mitsotakis wants to convey to the citizens as well as to the government team is that of “vigilance” for a tangible result in everyday life, without the ministers being carried away, as conveyed by prime ministerial associates, “during the summer hiatus”.