The leader of Greece’s main opposition party, conservative New Democracy (ND) Kyriakos Mitsotakis said that any future ND government or state office will not include any of his relatives. Mitsotakis’ decision is a blow to his sister, ND MP Dora Bakoyiannis, a former Minister for Foreign Affairs and for Culture and mayor of Athens.
“We cannot give the impression that the country’s governance is a family affair. This stereotype must be broken. That is why I have made the decision that in the next ND government no members of my family will be in the cabinet or in any other state office,” Mitsotakis said in an interview to newspaper Kathimerini.
“I know this is hard and maybe unfair, particularly for Dora who has offered a lot to the party and nobody questions her abilities. But it is imperative at this time, as part of the mission I have undertaken,” he was quoted as saying, according to athensnewsagency.
The statement is particularly relevant in modern Greek politics, given criticism of nepotism had bedeviled the country’s political system for decades if not longer.
Kyriakos Mitsotakis is the son of late prime minister Constantinos Mitsotakis, who was in power between 1990 to 1993, and the younger brother of Dora Bakoyiannis. Her son, Costas is also involved in politics even though in regional level.
Last September, Mitsotakis made his first step to put a halt into nepotism when veteran ND MP Yannis Tragakis announced that he would withdraw from politics in favor of his son would “inherit” his seat in Parliament. A furious Mitsotakis made clear that Tragakis’ son would not be on any candidates list – although mean Greeks claimed that the Leader of ND was angry because Tragakis’ public announcement and not of the ‘inherited’ seat.
At least ten out of current 76 MPs of New Democracy are sons, daughters and spouses of old party officials and lawmakers who have honored the political tradition of “parliament is a family business” over whole political generations.
The Karamanlis and the the Papandreou families have also sent their sons and nephews to the Parliament. But also the Varbitsiotis, the Kefalogiannis and so on…
And members of other politicians eager to send their family members to the parliament in the next elections.
PS In the cradle of West Civilization, we may have got ridden of royals and their families of princes and princesses, we are still a society stick to traditions. We have replaced the blue blood social classes of noble birth and privileges with political families of light blue and green blood…