Greek PM reshuffles government after parliament mutiny

Greek PM Alexis Tsipras arrives for a briefing about wildfires in Athens.
Greek PM Alexis Tsipras arrives for a briefing about wildfires in Athens.BLOOMBERG

ATHENS (AFP) - Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras on Friday reshuffled his government, a day after a major lawmaker mutiny in his radical left Syriza party over a draconian bailout deal.

In a bid to show international creditors he is in control of his Cabinet, Tsipras ditched energy minister Panagiotis Lafazanis, the head of Syriza's hardline faction that has consistently demanded an exit from the euro zone.

The deputy minister of defence, who was close to Lafazanis, was also axed.

The PM also filled the posts of the junior ministers of finance and foreign affairs, who had resigned during the week over the bailout deal, which over half of Greeks had rejected in a referendum.

Labour minister Panos Skourletis, a close ally of Tsipras, was moved over to replace the outgoing Lafazanis.

The new members of the Cabinet were set to be sworn in at a ceremony on Saturday.

The reshuffle came just hours after the EU approved a short-term loan for Greece, allowing it to make huge payments as early as next week to its creditors while a new euro zone debt bailout is being hammered out.

Greek lawmakers voted in favour of the deeply contentious bailout package on Thursday, but the internal rebellion left the radical left government weakened.

Tsipras suffered a major mutiny from his lawmakers - 32 out of 149 voted against the measures, and a further six abstained - and he was forced to rely on the support of pro-European opposition parties.

Government spokesman Gavriel Sakellarides was also to be replaced in the reshuffle.