Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis is under strong pressure to remove – in a first stage – responsibilities from Akis Skertsos, the (initially highly-touted) technocrat representative of the “modernist” PASOK of Simitis, and eventually to “kick” him out Maximos Mansion and the government in the next cabinet reshuffle.
Having served as the General Manager of SEV, while being a close associate of Panagiotis Pikrammenos, Yannis Stournaras, and Michalis Chrisochoidis, Akis Skertsos raised high expectations among a group of people and interests, only for them to be eventually dashed. The times when journalists glorified his personality and highlighted his technocratic profile are now long gone. The times when New Democracy members used to tolerate yet another advocate of the “modernizing” PASOK of Simitis, are long gone as well.
Akis Skertsos is now the “weak link” in the Maximos Μansion and, probably, the first person to leave the “white house” when the time comes – which will probably not be long.
Skertsos primarily failed to monitor and control – according to the technocratic standards he proposed, followed and attempted to implement – the government, which at the present time resembles nothing but a mess, with face-offs between ministers, poor performance of governmental policies in some fields, and ministers promoting their own agendas and… projects. The “MAZI” system that Akis Skertsos tried to implement, a system of centralized management that he wanted to impose as a special representative of Mitsotakis, has failed.
In any case, as time goes by, there is an escalation of reactions within New Democracy, regarding the modernizers that Mitsotakis relies on. The main object of criticism is the influence exerted on foreign policy and diplomacy issues (mainly concerning Greek-Turkish disputes), but also on the issue of armaments, by a specific group, a specific circle of people with certain rallying points: Costas Simitis, the Simitis-era PASOK and ELIAMEP. This group includes Akis Skertsos, who always maintains privileged relations with the German Embassy and does not want to have the German Ambassador dissatisfied. In fact, according to our information he always works “silently” – as long as his role allows him to do so – so as not to upset the government’s relationship with Berlin’s diplomatic mission in our country.
Meanwhile, traditional supporters of New Democracy across the country feel marginalized, with Skertsos acting as a red flag to them owing to his role as deputy minister to the prime minister. They refer to Skertsos as “pasokos”* and every word they utter for him is filled with rage.
Furthermore, it is impossible to forget the unprecedented attempt of Akis Skertsos to intervene in the work of Justice in the case of the brutal Topaloudi murder in Rhodes, an attempt which provoked a storm of reactions in Greek society and eventually exposed Mitsotakis himself.
And that’s only part of the story. Rumors are circulating and it is highly possible that, in the near future, the attempt of Akis Skertsos to get involved in various projects (some of them being government projects worth millions) will become the government’s Achilles heel. As a result, Maximos Mansion, which is already targeted by SYRIZA, will face the attack of the official opposition party when conditions are right.
Connoisseurs of the background claim that Akis Skertsos will soon become weak point of the Mitsotakis government. But most of all, they point out that it will not be long before Mitsotakis “pays dearly for choosing Skertsos and, then, it will already be late. Too late.”
*ardent supporter/member of PASOK