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Reshuffle: Changes in crucial ministries, one more minister from the far-right front

Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis proceeded to cabinet reshuffle removing ministers who were supposed to have been “successfully” managing the crises like the pandemic and its side effects in health and tourism.

The cabinet reshuffle includes the introduction of a Civil Protection Ministry that will also have jurisdiction over the Fire Service. Evangelos Apostolakis, an admiral of the Greek Navy officer and Minister of National Defense under left-wing SYRIZA government will lead the new ministry. Head of Civil Protection Nikos Hardalias has been moved to the Ministry of Defense as Deputy minister.

Removed has been also the controversial Minister for Citizen Protection Michalis Chrysochoidis, replaced by Takis Theodorikakos.

In the crucial Ministry of Health, minister Vassilis Kikilias has been moved to another crucial ministry this of Tourism where he replaces another controversial figure Haris Theoharis. Kikilias replaced by Thanos Plevris, a lawyer by profession.

The PM removed also deputy minister of health Vassilis Kontozamanis and replaced him with Asimina Gaga, a medical doctor, the only woman who gets a post in the reshuffle.

The new formation:

Civil Protection Minister: Evangelos Apostolakis
Citizen Protection Minister: Panagiotis Theodorikakos
Health Minister: Athanassios Plevris
Alternate Health Minister: Asimina Gaga
Tourism Minister: Vasillis Kikilias
Deputy Foreign Minister for Greeks Abroad: Andreas Katsaniotis
Deputy Defence Minister: Nikos Hardalias
Deputy Rural Development and Food Minister: Simos Kedikoglou
Transport and Infrastructure Deputy Minister Michalis Papadopoulos
Deputy Infrastructure Minister: Giorgos Karagiannis

With Plevris in Health Ministry, the conservative government of New Democracy has now three ministers with a far-right background as Plevris, Voridis (Interior) and Georgiadis (Development) started their political career with the far-right and nationalist party LAOS before they joined ND.

Worth noting is also that the PM appointed Deputy Minister for Rural Development Kedikoglou, an MP from Evia, just two weeks after the fires on the island destroyed large parts of agriculture and forest land.

Opposition Reactions

SYRIZA lashed out at the “stealing” of Apostolakis. “Like his father in the Apostasy of 1965, so the son” said SYRIZA in a statement among others.

KINAL/PASOK criticized the appointment of Plevris saying that with three ministers in significant positions the turn of ND to the far-right is now more than obvious.

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