Greece appoints first openly gay minister

Nicholas Yatromanolakis makes history in new role as deputy minister of culture

Zoe Tidman
Monday 04 January 2021 21:24
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Nicholas Yatromanolakis has been named as Greece’s deputy culture minister, becoming the country’s first openly gay minister
Nicholas Yatromanolakis has been named as Greece’s deputy culture minister, becoming the country’s first openly gay minister

Greece has appointed its first openly gay minister as part of a cabinet reshuffle.  

Nicholas Yatromanolakis made history after he was named the new deputy minister of culture on Monday.

The 44-year-old was promoted from his role as general secretary of contemporary culture at the same department.

The appointment which made him the first openly gay minister in Greek history was made during a cabinet reshuffle by the country’s centre-right government.  

Alex Patelis, the Greek prime minister’s chief economic adviser, said it was a “historic day for LGBTI+ representation, a big win for meritocracy and better decision-making through diversity”. 

“Congrats to Nicholas Yatromanolakis for showing you can be yourself and still succeed," Mr Patelis said. "May others draw strength to live their life openly.”

Kyriakos Mitsotakis, Greece’s prime minister, reshuffled his cabinet on Monday in an attempt to give a boost to his conservative government. 

He kept key ministers in their positions, signalling policy continuity for the economy and foreign affairs.

Some changes included the appointment of Christos Tarantilis, an Athens University professor, as the government's spokesman to help polish its image, as well as Mr Yatromanolakis as the new deputy culture minister.

"Every government needs to demonstrate flexibility at the right time," Mr Tarantilis, who announced the cabinet line-up, said.

The cabinet changes come shortly after the country tightened coronavirus restrictions, in a move aimed at helping schools to reopen as planned next week.

After Greece saw a spike of new Covid-19 infections and deaths in November, a second lockdown was introduced which closed schools and suspending much economic and social activity.

The measures were partially relaxed before Christmas, with restrictions eased for churches and non-essential shops, as well as hair salons.

All these have now been closed for a week as authorities hope to contain the virus spread to get children back in school after two months off. 

Greece announced four cases of the new highly contagious coronavirus variant – which was first detected in the UK and since spread around the world – over the weekend.

The country has reported more than 140,000 coronavirus cases since the pandemic began, and around 4,950 deaths.

Additional reporting by agencies

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