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Greece names Defense Minister for EU Commissioner – should we care?

Prime Minister Antonis Samaras named current Defense Minister Dimitris Avramopoulos for EU Commissioner. According to media, Greece target the portfolio of either “migration” or “unemployment”. Avramopoulos who is also Nea Dimokratia vice president, will leave the ministry by end of October.  So far, so good. However the removal of Avramopoulos from Nea Dimocratia-PASOK coalition government and the Greek Parliament has also quite some interest aspects, as you will read below.

Samaras sent a letter to EU Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker on Sunday and announced his decision.

“Avramopoulos  was chosen for the role after the agreement of coalition partner PASOK. Former Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis had been the other frontrunner but Samaras called her on Sunday to tell her that she would not be getting the role.

Samaras and PASOK leader Evangelos Venizelos deemed that Avramopoulos, who has also served as foreign minister in the current government, as well as being in charge of the health and tourism ministers in past administrations, had the necessary experience to represent Greece on the Commission.” (ekathimerini)

Avramopoulos’ seat in the Greek Parliament will be occupied by Thanos Plevris. He is the son of Constantinos Plevris, a nationalist who played an important role in shaping Greece’s extreme right. With Thanos Pleavris the number of ND lawmakers with nationalist-populist political background rises to three: Vorids, Georgiadis and Plevris.

Of course, of interest is the issue as to why Avramopoulos was chosen to leave Greece in an outpost for five years.  The main scenario circulating in the Greek media is that Avramopoulos could very well replace Samaras in the leadership of Nea Dimokratia should the party suffer losses in the next parliamentary elections. And that was no secret.

 

 

 

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