Kyriakos Mitsotakis

Kyriakos Mitsotakis (Greek: Κυριάκος Μητσοτάκης, Kyriákos Mitsotákis [ciɾˈʝakos mit͡soˈtacis]; born 4 March 1968) is a Greek politician and the Prime Minister of Greece since 8 July 2019. A member of New Democracy, he has been its president since 2016. Mitsotakis previously was Leader of the Opposition from 2016 to 2019, and Minister of Administrative Reform from 2013 to 2015.

Kyriakos Mitsotakis
Κυριάκος Μητσοτάκης
EPP Zagreb Congress in Croatia, 20-21 November 2019 (49099472986) (cropped) 2 (cropped).jpg
Mitsotakis in 2019
Prime Minister of Greece
Assumed office
8 July 2019
PresidentProkopis Pavlopoulos
Katerina Sakellaropoulou
DeputyPanagiotis Pikrammenos
Preceded byAlexis Tsipras
President of New Democracy
Assumed office
10 January 2016
Vice PresidentAdonis Georgiadis
Kostis Hatzidakis
Preceded byIoannis Plakiotakis
Leader of the Opposition
In office
10 January 2016 – 8 July 2019
Prime MinisterAlexis Tsipras
Preceded byIoannis Plakiotakis
Succeeded byAlexis Tsipras
Minister of Administrative Reform and Electronic Governance
In office
25 June 2013 – 27 January 2015
Prime MinisterAntonis Samaras
Preceded byAntonis Manitakis
Succeeded byNikos Voutsis
Member of the Hellenic Parliament
Assumed office
7 March 2004
ConstituencyAthens B2 (2019–present)
Athens B (2004–2019)
Personal details
Born (1968-03-04) 4 March 1968 (age 53)
Athens, Kingdom of Greece
Political partyNew Democracy
Spouse(s)Mareva Grabowski
Children3
FatherKonstantinos Mitsotakis
EducationAthens College
Alma materHarvard University (BA, MBA)
Stanford University (MA)
AwardsThomas T. Hoopes Prize (1990)
Alexis de Tocqueville Prize (1990)
Signature

He was first elected to the Hellenic Parliament for the Athens B constituency in 2004. After New Democracy suffered two election defeats in 2015, he was elected the party's leader in January 2016. Three years later, he led his party to a majority in the 2019 election. He is the son of former Prime Minister Konstantinos Mitsotakis.[1][2][3]

Early life and educationEdit

Born in Athens, he is the son of the former Prime Minister of Greece and president of New Democracy, Konstantinos Mitsotakis, and his wife Marika (née Giannoukou). At the time of his birth, his family had been placed under house arrest by the Greek military junta that had declared his father persona non grata and imprisoned him on the night of the coup.[4] In 1968, when he was only six months old, the family escaped to Turkey with the help of then Turkish Minister of Foreign Affairs İhsan Sabri Çağlayangil. After a while, they moved from Turkey to Paris and waited until 1974 to return to Greece after democracy had been restored.[5] Later, Mitsotakis described the first six months of his life as political imprisonment.[6]

In 1986, he graduated from Athens College. From 1986 to 1990, he attended Harvard University and earned a bachelor's degree in social studies, receiving the Hoopes Prize. From 1992 to 1993 he attended Stanford University, earning a Ford Dorsey Master's in International Policy. From 1993 to 1995, he attended Harvard Business School, where he earned an MBA.[7]

Professional careerEdit

From 1990 to 1991 Kyriakos Mitsotakis worked as a financial analyst at the corporate finance division of Chase Bank in London. From 1991 to 1992, Mitsotakis returned to Greece and joined the Hellenic Army to fulfil his mandatory national service obligations. From 1995 to 1997, and following the completion of his post-graduate studies, he was employed by the consultancy McKinsey & Company in London, focusing primarily on the telecommunications and financial services industries. From 1997 to 1999 he worked for Alpha Ventures, a private equity subsidiary of Alpha Bank, as a senior investment officer, executing venture capital and private equity transactions. In 1999 he founded NBG Venture Capital, the private equity and venture capital subsidiary of the National Bank of Greece, and acted as its CEO, managing its portfolio and executing transactions in Greece and the Balkans, until April 2003, when he resigned to pursue a career in politics.[7]

In January 2003 he was nominated by the World Economic Forum as a global leader of tomorrow.[8]

Political careerEdit

During the 2000 legislative election, Mitsotakis worked for New Democracy's national campaign. In the 2004 legislative election, Mitsotakis ran in the Athens B constituency, receiving more votes than any other New Democracy candidate in the country and was elected to the Hellenic Parliament.[citation needed]

Mitsotakis is honorary president of Konstantinos K. Mitsotakis Foundation, aiming at promoting the life and works of Konstantinos Mitsotakis and at reporting the modern political history of Greece.[citation needed]

On 24 June 2013, Mitsotakis was appointed as the Minister of Administrative Reform and e-Governance in Antonis Samaras' cabinet, succeeding Antonis Manitakis. He served in this position until January 2015. During this time, he pursued comprehensive national reforms by implementing a functional reorganization of institutions, structures and processes. He steadfastly supported the drastic downsizing of the Public Sector and the structural reform of the tax administration.

In 2015, Mitsotakis served as a parliamentary representative for New Democracy, representing the President of the party in Parliament, as well as the body of the party's Representatives. He was charged with expressing the positions of his party during Parliamentary procedures and discourse, as well as ensuring the proper function of Parliament through a process of checks and balances. In March 2015, he claimed that then-Minister of Finance Yanis Varoufakis was undermining the Greek negotiations over the third bailout programme, saying: "Every time he opens his mouth, he creates a problem for the country's negotiating position."[9]

 
Mitsotakis and Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan in 2016

Mitsotakis was the first of four New Democracy members to announce their candidacy in the leadership election, declared following the resignation of Antonis Samaras as party leader and the failure of New Democracy in the September 2015 snap election.[10] Amongst the other contestants was then-interim leader and former Speaker of the Hellenic Parliament Vangelis Meimarakis. According to the Financial Times, Mitsotakis was "billed as an outsider in the leadership race" due to the party establishment's support of Meimarakis' candidacy.[11] Following the first round of voting with no clear winner, Mitsotakis came second, 11% behind Meimarakis.[11]

 
Mitsotakis and Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy in 2017

On 10 January 2016, Mitsotakis was elected president of the New Democracy political party succeeding Ioannis Plakiotakis (transitional president) with almost 4% difference from opponent Vangelis Meimarakis. A week following Mitsotakis' election as leader, two opinion polls were published that put New Democracy ahead of Syriza for the first time in a year.[12]

His party won 33% of the votes in the European elections in 2019.[13] He managed to win back votes from the Golden Dawn Party.[14] Following the election results, the Hellenic Parliament was dissolved and a snap election was called.[15]

Prime Minister of GreeceEdit

 
Mitsotakis and Mareva Grabowski-Mitsotakis with U.S. President Donald Trump in the Oval Office of the White House, January 2020

New Democracy was victorious in the 2019 legislative election, scoring 39.85% of votes and securing 158 seats in the Hellenic Parliament. On 8 July 2019, Greek President Prokopis Pavlopoulos accepted Tsipras' resignation and tasked Mitsotakis with forming a new government.[16] Mitsotakis was sworn in as Prime Minister the same day as well.[2][3] On 9 July, the ministers in his government were sworn in. Among his cabinet was Makis Voridis, a former member of the far-right Popular Orthodox Rally, who was met with a cold reception abroad and by the Jewish community in Greece. Israel announced that it would not cooperate with Voridis.[17]

There is a long-standing dispute between Turkey and Greece over natural resources in the eastern Mediterranean. Mitsotakis said that Turkey "remains stuck in the logic of using force and threats."[18] He told NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg that Greece is "contributing to NATO, we are an ally and have the expectation that when another NATO ally is behaving in a way that jeopardises our interests, NATO should not adopt this stance of equal distances and non-intervention in internal differences. It is deeply unfair to Greece."[19]

He awarded American actor Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson honorary Greek citizenship.[20]

Domestic policyEdit

In August 2020, a reform of the labour law was adopted. It provides for the possibility of an employer to dismiss employees without having to give reasons for the decision or give prior notice to the persons concerned. The tax authorities' anti-fraud unit was abolished and its employees integrated into the Ministry of Finance.[21]

From 2019 onwards, it is launching a wave of privatizations, including tourism infrastructure, coastal land, and state-owned shares in the gas and electricity companies and Athens airport. On the other hand, a tax reform aimed at making the country "a haven for billionaires and the wealthiest citizens", the Financial Times notes, is being implemented. The aim is to attract investment by offering low tax rates. A clause will protect the beneficiaries of this tax policy from possible policy changes by future governments.[22]

The "big growth bill", adopted in the summer of 2020, provides for the restriction of the right to strike and the abolition of collective agreements, which had already been suspended in 2012 at the request of the Troika and then reinstated by the Tsipras government. Migration policy has been tightened: the coverage of hospital care for destitute foreigners has been abolished and the period during which refugees who have been granted asylum can reside in public housing has been reduced from six months to one month.[23] On environmental issues, the government reformed legislation to facilitate oil exploration.[24]

COVID-19 responseEdit

Mitsotakis' government has been praised for its handling of the COVID-19 pandemic as well as for its plans for spending a €31bn share of the EU's Recovery Plan and for its orderly vaccination roll-out. Additionally, the common Covid-19 certificate was credited to Mitsotakis, and his idea has been taken up at a European level.[25][26] Mitsotakis had criticized the initially slow pace of the EU's COVID-19 vaccine rollout, and he had called for its acceleration.[27]

Measures were implemented from March 2020 to May 2020 and from November 2020 until May 2021, when their gradual lifting started. The measures included the introduction of various movement restrictions, the suspension of operation of retail, catering and entertainment businesses, as well as of schools and churches.[28][29] In May 2021 the Mitsotakis government was initially criticized because, despite announcing the country's opening for tourism on 14 May 2021, it kept for a few days some movement restrictions such as the obligation to send an SMS. Other measures still in place and after the opening of tourism in country are the daily curfew starting at 00:30, the obligatory use of face masks indoors and outdoors, the ban on music in cafes and restaurants, and the ban on the operation of indoor restaurants throughout May, while casinos are allowed to operate adhering to a specific sanitary protocol. On 27 May 2021, Mitsotakis in an interview in the German newspaper Bild did not give a clear answer as to when and if the above measures will be lifted in the summer, Mitsotakis stated, among other things, that there is a roadmap for lifting the measures, which he did not describe, he also estimated that tourism in 2021 will be around 50% of the tourism that Greece had in 2019.[30][31][32][33] Despite criticism, Greece was awarded the "Global Champion Award for COVID-19 Crisis Management" by the World Travel and Tourism Council, which lauded the Greek Government as a global example for the safe opening of the tourism sector during the pandemic. Gloria Guevara, WTTC's president and CEO, praised the Greek government "for its tremendous efforts and strategic steps taken to restart international travel from 14 May 2021."[34][35]

Personal lifeEdit

Mitsotakis is the younger brother of former Minister for Foreign Affairs and Mayor of Athens Dora Bakoyannis, making him the brother-in-law of the late Pavlos Bakoyannis, who was assassinated by the terrorist group 17 November in 1989 and the uncle of Kostas Bakoyannis,[36] former Regional Governor of Central Greece and current Mayor of Athens.

Mitsotakis is married to Mareva Grabowska, an investment banker with British, Greek, Polish and Egyptian roots. They have three children, Sophia, Konstantinos and Daphne.[37]

In addition to Greek, Mitsotakis speaks English, French and German.[38]

ControversyEdit

Siemens scandal allegationsEdit

In 2007, it was reported that Mitsotakis was involved in the Siemens Greek bribery scandal.[39] However, Mitsotakis has repeatedly denied any involvement and no indication of guilt has so far been proven. The Siemens trial, in which Mitsotakis is not involved, is still pending.[40]

Electronic office equipment, call centers, air conditioners etc. worth c. €130,000 were received in the period preceding the 2007 elections (June to September 2007) by Mitsotakis from Siemens and two of its subsidiaries. The invoices indicate payment period of up to 60 days, however no part of the amount was paid until February 2008, when part of it was paid, just when the Siemens case was reopened by the courts, and an amount of €43,850 was paid by check from Mr. Mitsotakis on Monday 2 June. Earlier (on 29 May) testimonies had been made about "donations and grants by Siemens to politicians" and on 30 May 2008 the prosecutor's investigation took place at the company's offices.[41][42]

Lockdown violationsEdit

In December 2020, Mitsotakis was criticized after a photo of him surfaced on social media, in which he posed with five other people while not wearing a mask, during a time when Greece had a nationwide lockdown and mask wearing was mandatory both indoors and outdoors.[43][44] On 6 February 2021 Mitsotakis visited the island of Icaria to inspect the progress of COVID-19 vaccinations in the area. During this visit, he attended a lunch organized by MP Christodoulos I. Stefanadis along with his entourage numbering up to 40 people. The incident was covered by both Greek and international media and Mitsotakis was heavily criticized for violating the existing COVID-19 containment measures.[45][46][47][48] Mitsotakis publicly apologized for the Icaria incident, saying this will never happen again and that "the image hurt the citizens".[49][50]

Venizelos/Mitsotakis family treeEdit

Main members of the Venizelos/Mitsotakis/Bakoyannis family.[51] Prime Ministers of Greece are highlighted in light blue.
Kyriakos Venizelos [la]
(?–1883)
Styliani Ploumidaki
(1830–1897)
Eleftherios Venizelos
(1864–1936)
Katigo Venizelou
(1858–1934)
Constantine "Costis" Mitsotakis [el]
(1845–1898)
Kyriakos Venizelos [el]
(1892–1942)
Sofoklis Venizelos
(1894–1964)
Kyriakos Mitsotakis [el]
(1892–1942)
Stavroula Ploumidaki[52]
(1896–1983)
Nikitas Venizelos
(1930–2020)
Konstantinos Mitsotakis
(1918–2017)
Marika Giannoukou
(1930–2012)
Pavlos Bakoyannis
(1935–1989)
Dora Bakoyannis
née Mitsotaki
(b. 1954)
Kyriakos Mitsotakis
(b. 1968)
Kostas Bakoyannis
(b. 1978)

ReferencesEdit

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  2. ^ a b Smith, Helena (8 July 2019). "Mitsotakis takes over as Greece's PM with radical change of style". Retrieved 8 July 2019 – via www.theguardian.com.
  3. ^ a b "Greek conservative Mitsotakis sworn in as prime minister | DW | 08.07.2019". DW.COM. Retrieved 8 July 2019.
  4. ^ "Η εξήγηση Μητσοτάκη για το "έξι μηνών πολιτικός κρατούμενος": Η χούντα δεν άφηνε τη μητέρα μου να βγει από το σπίτι της". HuffPost Greece. 22 July 2016. Retrieved 1 February 2019.
  5. ^ Akten, Sertaç; Alan, Gülsüm (4 July 2019). "Yunanistan erken genel seçimleri ile ilgili bilmeniz gereken her şey". Euronews (Türkçe). Retrieved 7 July 2019.
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  10. ^ "Mitsotakis first to declare will run for ND leadership". Kathimerini. 22 September 2015. Retrieved 20 January 2016.
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  12. ^ "Greek opposition ahead of Syriza for first time in a year". AFP. 17 January 2016. Retrieved 19 January 2016 – via Yahoo News.
  13. ^ "2019 european elections results". NewsIt. 6 June 2019.
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  15. ^ "Greece headed to snap elections after Syriza defeat in EU vote". www.euronews.com. 27 May 2019. Retrieved 8 July 2019.
  16. ^ Service, Reuters News (8 July 2019). "Greek conservative Mitsotakis sworn in as prime minister". Cyprus Mail. Retrieved 8 July 2019.
  17. ^ Kottis, Alexandros (19 July 2019). "L'extrême droite grecque ne disparaît pas, elle se recompose" [The Greek far right is not disappearing, it is being recomposed]. Slate (in French).
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  22. ^ Berger, Annick (7 December 2019). "La Grèce va-t-elle devenir le paradis des milliardaires ?". Capital.fr.
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  25. ^ "Charlemagne: How Greece became Europe's unlikely model student". The Economist. 22 May 2021. Retrieved 21 May 2021.
  26. ^ Seinti, Eva (26 February 2021). "«Ελλάδα: πώς γίνεται ο εμβολιασμός χωρίς χάος»: Νέα επαινετικά σχόλια από τα γερμανικά ΜΜΕ". CNN Greece (in Greek). Athens. Retrieved 21 May 2021.
  27. ^ "Greece to step up vaccination rate, says PM; criticizes slow EU rollout". Arab News. Athens. 2 April 2021. Retrieved 21 May 2021.
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  29. ^ IEFIMERIDA.GR, NEWSROOM (5 February 2021). "Κλείδωσε η απαγόρευση κυκλοφορίας τα Σαββατοκύριακα στην Αττική, από τις 6 το απόγευμα ως τις 5 το πρωί | ΕΛΛΑΔΑ". iefimerida.gr.
  30. ^ "Μητσοτάκης στην Bild: Όχι μουσική από αυτό το Σαββατοκύριακο - Οι μάσκες θα μείνουν στους εσωτερικούς χώρους". 27 May 2021.
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  40. ^ "Υπόθεση Siemens: Στις 24 Φεβρουαρίου αρχίζει η δίκη | naftemporiki.gr". www.naftemporiki.gr. 22 November 2016.
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  45. ^ "Ικαρία - Μητσοτάκης: Βίντεο και φωτογραφίες από τον συνωστισμό, αντιδράσεις των κομμάτων". www.ethnos.gr.
  46. ^ "Αποκλειστικό βίντεο: Γλέντι σε σπίτι στην Ικαρία με πάνω από 50 άτομα, παρουσία Μητσοτάκη". news247.gr.
  47. ^ Holroyd, Matthew (8 February 2021). "Greek PM Kyriakos Mitsotakis accused of breaking COVID-19 rules again". euronews.
  48. ^ "Greek PM criticised for lunch that breached Covid restrictions". the Guardian. 7 February 2021.
  49. ^ Stathopoulos, Sotiris (14 March 2021). "Στην επίθεση η ΝΔ για τις 90 κορονο-διαδηλώσεις του ΣΥΡΙΖΑ εν μέσω πανδημίας". the toc (in Greek). Athens. Retrieved 21 May 2021.
  50. ^ "Κ. Μητσοτάκης: Θα δεχθώ απόλυτα ότι η εικόνα στην Ικαρία πλήγωσε τους πολίτες. Δεν θα επαναληφθεί". naftemporiki (in Greek). Athens. 10 February 2021. Retrieved 21 May 2021.
  51. ^ Constantine Mitsotakis institute. "Biography – Roots". Retrieved 23 December 2015.
  52. ^ Stavroula Ploumidaki is also a first cousin, once removed, of Eleftherios Venizelos

External linksEdit

Political offices
Preceded by
Antonis Manitakis
Minister of Administrative Reform and Electronic Governance
2013–2015
Succeeded by
Nikos Voutsis
as Minister for Administrative Reorganization
Preceded by
Ioannis Plakiotakis
Leader of the Opposition
2016–2019
Succeeded by
Alexis Tsipras
Preceded by
Alexis Tsipras
Prime Minister of Greece
2019–present
Incumbent
Party political offices
Preceded by
Ioannis Plakiotakis
President of New Democracy
2016–present
Incumbent
Order of precedence
Preceded by
Katerina Sakellaropoulou
as President
Order of precedence of Greece
Prime Minister
Succeeded by
Konstantinos Tasoulas
as Speaker of the Parliament

This page incorporates information from the Hellenic Parliament website