Greek lawmaker, ex-minister Marietta Giannakou dies at 70

Marietta Giannakou, a former Greek education minister and a veteran lawmaker with the country's ruling conservative New Democracy party has died 70

Via AP news wire
Sunday 27 February 2022 19:26
Greece Obit Giannakou
Greece Obit Giannakou

Marietta Giannakou, a former Greek education minister and a veteran lawmaker with the country's ruling conservative New Democracy party, has died at 70, the military hospital at which she had been treated recently announced Sunday.

Giannakou had had a history of health problems, including a recent fall at home, a heart attack six years ago and the amputation of a leg in 2008, due to complications from diabetes.

Giannakou, a neuropsychiatrist by training, came under fire when she served as an education minister from 2004 to 2007. The left-wing opposition vociferously objected to university reforms, while she also faced criticism from Greek nationalists, including many in her own party, over a 6th-grade history book that was considered insufficiently patriotic. In the end, both the reforms and the book were shelved.

Considered a moderate within her party, Giannakou was respected across the political spectrum.

“Marietta Giannakou was a serious and responsible politician, with a distinctive, moderate voice on foreign policy issues,” said George Katrougalos, a former foreign minister in the 2015-2019 leftist Syriza government.

Born on June 6, 1951, Giannakou became active in politics early in the New Democracy youth wing. She served in the Greek parliament from 1993-99, from 2000-2007 and since July 2019. She was also a member of the European Parliament from 1984-1990, 1999-2000 and 2009-2014. She was Minister of Health, Welfare and Social Security from 1990-1991.

Giannakou is survived by a daughter.

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