Incoming Alternate Defence Minister Fotis Kouvelis immediately laid out his intentions.

He signaled that he will report directly to the prime minister, and not to the minister who heads the ministry.

Hence, it became apparent on the very first day of this odd co-habitation that the time will soon come that the right (nationalist) hand of the minister will not know what the (renewal) left hand of the alternate minister is doing.

This would be a minor offence if it concerned any other government ministry. At the Ministry of Defence, however, such a chasm may prove criminal.

Defence is the par excellence delicate issue in every country, and it is in every respect crucial.

It has already suffered from the bravado of the current minister, and his opportunistic moves, which constituted grandstanding and exploitation of patriotic sentiment for personal political gain.

The last thing one needs now is a communication gap at the highest levesl of the ministry, at least at this stage.

The geopolitical environment is anything but stable at this juncture.

In neighbouring Turkey, an unpredictable and authoritarian president could set fire anywhere, at any time, and under whatever pretext.

In such circumstances, there is no need for clashes. Readiness is paramount. There is no need for power rivalries. Cohesion is indispensable.

These are realities that the prime minister was obliged to take into account. This stands true even for a prime minister who from the beginning of his tenure did not pay enough attention to the critical area of defence.