The latest cost cutting symbolic move by the Greek coalition government is to end all VIP flights. Ministers flying to the summit in Brussels will be shipped off in economy class.
Pro Therma reported the decision to send government ministers to Brussels via economy class was made as a symbolic gesture of economising. Greek President Karolos Papoulias is due to attend the Brussels summit this week and will be accompanied by outgoing caretaker Finance Minister George Zanias. Newly appointed Finance Minister Yiannis Stournaras needs time to bring himself up to speed on the finance portfolio before meeting with other European finance ministers.
According to Keep Talking Greece Prime Minister Anthonis Samaras has also initiated a new ruling whereby ministers and deputy ministers will need to obtain the permission of the prime minister to leave Athens. A Samaras’ aide said “when the PM says government members need to work seven days per week and be available 24 hours per day, he means it. The phenomenon that ministries remain 2-3 days without ‘head’ because ministers and deputies visit their home areas to attend weddings, baptizing ceremonies or keep contacts with the local community will be on hold.”
Now that ministers will be forced to first of all ask permission before schlepping off to attend their personal business in less than luxurious style, it is hoped that the government will be forced to focus on actually running the country.