Kyriakos Mitsotakis
Κυριάκος Μητσοτάκης
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
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
Height189 cm (6 ft 2 in)
Spouse(s)Mareva Grabowski
Children3
FatherKonstantinos Mitsotakis
EducationHarvard University (BA, MBA)
Stanford University (MA)
AwardsThomas T. Hoopes Prize (1990)
Alexis de Tocqueville Prize (1990)
Signature

Kyriakos Mitsotakis (Greek: Κυριάκος Μητσοτάκης; 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.

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 education

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 1,2 year 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 career

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 career

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 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
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 Greece

Mitsotakis and Mareva Grabowski-Mitsotakis with U.S. President Donald Trump in the Oval Office of the White House, January 2020
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][1] On 9 July, the ministers in his government were sworn in.

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."[17] 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."[18]

He awarded American actor Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson honorary Greek citizenship.[19]

Personal life

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,[20] 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, Constantine and Daphne.[21]

In addition to Greek, Mitsotakis speaks English, French and German.[22] He is a Greek Orthodox Christian.

Controversy

Siemens scandal allegations

In 2007, it was reported that Mitsotakis was involved in the Siemens Greek bribery scandal.[23] 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.[24]

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 June 2. 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.[25][26]

Tolerance of convicted people accused of pedophile offenses and rape of minors

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Kyriakos Mitsotakis is accused by a portion of the press and the opposition of tolerating convicts and those accused of pedophilia and rape of minors, on the occasion of two incidents. More specifically, the former New Democracy MP and friend of Kyriakos Mitsotakis during the opposition, Nikos Georgiadis was arrested by the Moldovan police in 2010 for indecency and rape against underage boys in Moldova. Georgiadis was recognized by his victims but was not detained as he showed a diplomatic passport and was released, Georgiadis at the request of the Moldovan authorities to the Greek authorities was tried and sentenced to prison and fined in Greece in 2019 for his crimes in Moldova. Georgiadis had been Kyriakos Mitsotakis' personal adviser for years, while Mitsotakis appointed him secretary of political planning for New Democracy in 2016, from which he resigned months later following reactions from the party.[27][28] The second case concerns the well-known actor and director Dimitris Lignadis, who was arrested and remanded in custody for raping underage boys in February 2021. Lignadis was appointed as the artistic director of the National Theater of Greece by the Mitsotakis government in 2019, with exception and without competition and while his criminal activity was known for years according to complaints from actors, additionally the opposition complained that Lignadis' placement at the National Theater was pre-determined before the 2019 national elections. Lignadis resigned on his own a few days before his arrest, while the allegations against him had come In public. The Minister of Culture of the government of Kyriakos Mitsotakis Lina Mendoni stated after the arrest of Lignadis that he deceived her and is a dangerous person, but Kyriakos Mitsotakis distanced himself from the statements of Mendoni characterizing her statement that Lignadis is a dangerous man as unfortunate. [29][30][31][32][33]

COVID-19

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In Greece, the Mitsotakis government had imposed εxtreme strict measures for containing COVID-19. According to the University of Oxford "COVID-19 Government Response Tracker", Greece has a value of 87.96 in the Sringency Index (April 2021).[34][35][36]. These measures implemented from March 2020 to May 2020 and from Novemeber 2020 until May 2021 where a moderate easing of restrictions began to apply in May 2021. The measures include the traffic of citizens for specific reasons and with electronic or written certificates for all hours of the day, the complete ban of traffic from 9 pm or even from 6 or 7 pm in some areas, the closure of all retail, catering and entertainment businesses, the closure of all schools and churches[37][38]. In May 2021, the Mitsotakis government lifted some of the most extreme measures, thus opening up outdoor catering businesses, as well as retail businesses, schools and churches. Nevertheless, the Mitsotakis government, despite announcing the opening of tourism in the country on May 14, 2021, has not lifted the complete ban on traffic at night (starting at 11 pm) nor the obligation of citizens to travel with traffic certificates[39][40]. This has provoked reactions due to the fact that there will be discrimination between Greeks and tourists where tourists will be able to move freely while Greeks will be restricted[41]. Despite the opening of the country to tourists from the 14th of May and the lifting of most restrictive measures from this date, Mitsotakis insists on the implementation of the ban on the movement of citizens half an hour after midnight and until 5 in the morning of the next day. Other measures that will remain after the start of the tourist season in Greece are the obligation to use a face mask outdoors, the ban on music in cafes and restaurants, and the ban on the operation of indoor restaurants throughout May, when he has allowed the casino to operate[42][43]. In December 2020, Mitsotakis was criticized after a photo of him surfaced on social media, in which he posed with 5 other people while neither him nor them were wearing a mask, during a time when Greece had a nationwide lockdown and mask wearing was mandatory in all areas.[44][45][46] The government spokesperson Stelios Petsas responded to the criticism by saying "they are criticizing the Prime Minister for being human".[47]

On February 6, 2021 Mitsotakis and his associates visited the island of Icaria to inspect the progress of COVID-19 vaccinations in the area. During his visit at a hospital he was met with disapproval by local political opposition groups who gathered to protest against the harsh lockdown restrictions and the perceived lack of funding for the national health system.[48] Shortly after this visit, he attended MP Christodoulos I. Stefanadis' house on the island for lunch along with a group of his closest advisors. Despite the efforts of Mitsotakis to keep a low profile during the lunch, a substantial group of local supporters and passerby gathered outside the entrance of the house, forming a large public gathering at a time when the country was at a national lockdown and social distancing measures were in place. A woman, member of a local political opposition group, recorded the gathering on her phone from a nearby balcony. The footage quickly became viral on Greek social media. Following extensive coverage of the incidence, Mitsotakis was heavily criticized by the majority of the opposition parties and media outlets for failing to break the crowd during the gathering.[49][50][51] The extreme restrictive - police measures in combination with their disrespect by Mitsotakis himself caused the anger of the citizens with the result that there are clashes between citizens and police with the most serious of them happening in Nea Smyrni (district on the south side of Athens ) with injuries to civilians and police officers, also Mitsotakis and members of his government were strongly rebuked with insults by citizens in various areas of Greece such as Ikaria and Patras[52][53][54][55][56]

Venizelos/Mitsotakis family tree

Main members of the Venizelos/Mitsotakis/Bakoyannis family.[57] 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[58]
(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)

References

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  2. ^ a b Smith, Helena (Jul 8, 2019). "Mitsotakis takes over as Greece's PM with radical change of style". Retrieved Jul 8, 2019 – via www.theguardian.com.
  3. ^ a b "Greek conservative Mitsotakis sworn in as prime minister | DW | 08.07.2019". DW.COM. Retrieved Jul 8, 2019.
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  57. ^ Constantine Mitsotakis institute. "Biography – Roots". Retrieved 2015-12-23.
  58. ^ Stavroula Ploumidaki is also a first cousin, once removed, of Eleftherios Venizelos
Political offices
Preceded by
Antonis Manitakis
Minister of Administrative Reform
2013–2015
Succeeded by
Nikos Voutsis
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 of the Republic
Order of precedence of Greece
as Prime Minister
Succeeded by
Konstantinos Tasoulas
as Speaker of the Parliament

This page incorporates information from the Hellenic Parliament website