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Business

Greece reshuffles talks team to appease creditors

The Greek government has changed up its team of officials responsible for handling crucial debt talks with international creditors. The move came on the back of unsuccessful negotiations in Riga last week.

Greece's leftist government on Monday reshuffled its team of officials in charge of handling sensitive debt negotiations with the country's EU and IMF creditors, lamenting a lack of progress in the past two months.

Athens announced that a political negotiations team would be formed under Deputy Foreign Minister Euclid Tsakalotos, a 55-year-old Oxford-educated economics professor known to be held in high esteem by Greece's lenders.

Tsakalotos is to assist the troubled talks with the EU and IMF and make sure the 7.2 billion euros ($7.8 billion) in remaining bailout money will eventually be unlocked to

protect the eurozone member from bankruptcy

.

Sidelined finance minister?

In another move that seemed indicative of Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis' waning clout, George Chouliarakis will take over responsibility for talks with the Brussels Group of negotiators.

Chouliarakis is to replace a close ally of Varoufakis, Nikos Theocharakis, who has lead technical level talks with the lenders so far.

A third measure designed to alleviate tensions with auditors on the ground will see a new team be set up to support EU and IMF officials regularly in Greece to collect information about Athens' reform progress.

hg/cjc (Reuters, dpa, AFP)

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