Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis reshuffled his cabinet on Tuesday as his conservative government has come under criticism over its handing of the pandemic and the catastrophic August fires.
Government spokesperson Yiannis Economou announced the following changes in the cabinet, as well as the formation of a new civil protection ministry that will replace the Deputy Civil Protection Ministry, including responsibility for the fire brigade.
The government initially announced Evangelos Apostolakis, a former SYRIZA government minister for the ministerial post. However, a few hours later Apostolakis rejected the post saying that there was no political consensus for his appointment.
The changes are as follows:
- 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 Defense Minister: Nikos Hardalias
- Deputy Rural Development and Food Minister: Simos Kedikoglou
- Transport and Infrastructure Deputy Minister Michalis Papadopoulos
- Deputy Infrastructure Minister: Giorgos Karagiannis
Among the most notable changes is the replacement of Citizen Protection Minister Michalis Chrysochoidis with Panagiotis Theodorikakos.
Also, Nikos Hardalias, the deputy minister of civil protection who played a prominent role in Greece’s response to the coronavirus pandemic and the recent wildfires, was named deputy defense minister.
Health Minister Vassilis Kikilias was moved to the Tourism Ministry. He is replaced by Athanassios Plevris.
Greek cabinet reshuffle targets ineffective response to wildfires
Analysts say that Chrysochoidis paid a price for the ineffective response to the wildfires that devastated the island of Evia, Attica and the Peloponnese this summer.
Christos Staikouras, the Minister of Finance, remains in place, along with Adonis Georgiadis of Development and Investment, Nikos Dendias in Foreign Affairs, Lina Mendoni of the ministry of Culture, Niki Kerameus in Education, Kostis Hatzidakis of the Labor Ministry, Kostas Skrekas of Environment and Energy, Kostas Tsiaras of Justice, Interior Minister Makis Voridis, Migration Minister Notis Mitarakis, Digital Governance Minister Kyriakos Pierrakakis, Infrastructure and Transport Minister Kostas A. Karamanlis, Shipping and Island Policy Minister Yiannis Plakiotakis and Rural Development and Food Minister Spilios Livanos remain in place.
Minister of State Giorgos Gerapetritis and Minister of State for Government Coordination Akis Skertsos also retain their posts.