New Democracy leader Kyriakos Mitsotakis is planning to introduce a “Ministry of Family” to the Greek government. It will replace many of the duties currently carried out by the Ministry of Labor.
Mitsotakis, who is hoping to secure a second term as Greece’s prime minister, revealed his proposed family ministry during an interview with the Greek TV station SKAI. He argued that the Ministry of Labor is too bloated and that it needs to be split in two.
The new arm of the government would address demographic issues and family policies. Greece’s population is projected to decline dramatically in the following decades. Officials working in the new ministry will likely be tasked with addressing this issue. However, critics of the new ministry have called it dystopian.
Mitstotakis proposes Ministry of Family
During the interview with SKAI, Mitstoakis explained that the Ministry of Family would be responsible for addressing demographic issues in Greece.
“This will be combined with a series of incentives for the balance of family and work life with special programs and allocation of funds to support specific policies for families and promote equality at work between men and women,” Mitsotakis said.
Το δημογραφικό βρίσκεται στο επίκεντρο των πολιτικών μας. Είναι πολύ σημαντικό να μπορούμε να στηρίξουμε τις οικογένειες με παιδιά. Με την αύξηση του οικογενειακού επιδόματος στο δημόσιο, με €2.000 για τη γέννηση κάθε παιδιού. Με προγράμματα όπως οι «Νταντάδες της Γειτονιάς». pic.twitter.com/udkE8G1W5S
— Kyriakos Mitsotakis (@kmitsotakis) June 11, 2023
“Essentially, we are taking, breaking the Ministry of Labor in two and in this new ministry that we are creating, we are adding material that has to do with our family policies,” said Mitsotakis. “Because, when I met with those with many children, they told me something that we had also realized, which is why we had proposed it a long time ago. Who is our interlocutor? She may be a deputy minister in the Ministry of Labour, but we want an independent ministry, which can unify all issues related to family policy.”
“Let me give you an example: the definitions of multiple children are not the same, depending on the Ministries and depending on the allowances,” he continued.
Arguing the case for a new family ministry, Mitsotakis added, “We need to have a decision-making center for issues that have to do with both family policy issues and welfare policy issues, that is, social support and equality.”
Greece’s demographic decline
“The Ministry of Labor has done an excellent job these days, but it is a very, very large ministry,” commented the New Democracy leader. “That’s why our decision is to create this new ministry, which will emphasize and essentially be the pillar ministry to deal with the biggest problem.”
The “biggest problem” Mitsotakis referred to is very likely the demographic decline projected to occur in Greece in the next few decades.
According to a study conducted by the Laboratory of Demographic and Social Analyzes of the University of Thessaly under the leadership of Professor Byron Kozamanis, Greece’s population is projected to decline by approximately 2.5 million within the next 27 years.
Mitsotakis announced that he will be creating a Ministry of Family, if elected. It will be focusing on problems faced by Greek families, Greece’s demographic time-bomb and policies that can allow parents (mainly women) to balance work-family life better.https://t.co/cSVP76zVck
— The Greek Analyst (@GreekAnalyst) June 11, 2023
This could pose several difficult challenges. For example, there may be an insufficient number of workers between the ages of 18 and 65 to provide for the older generation’s pensions.
Mitsotakis may be hoping that a new Ministry of Family will be able to introduce policies to reverse adverse demographic trends. He suggested that the family allowance may be increased by €2,000 for the birth of each child in addition to the introduction of schemes like “neighborhood babysitters” to make it easier for parents to handle costs and childcare difficulties.
However, some critics have taken to social media to criticize the proposed ministry, likening it to an ultra-right-wing dystopian project.