Greece: Makis Voridis and Sofia Voultepsi will take over as interioir minister and deputy migration minister respectively | Credit: Wiki commons OSCE Parliamentary Assembly / ekathimerini.com
Greece: Makis Voridis and Sofia Voultepsi will take over as interioir minister and deputy migration minister respectively | Credit: Wiki commons OSCE Parliamentary Assembly / ekathimerini.com

A cabinet reshuffle in Greece has seen two conservative hardliners take up positions in the interior and migration ministries. The new deputy migration minister Sofia Voultepsi has previously referred to migrants as 'unarmed invaders'.

In the second cabinet reshuffle in five months, Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis on January 4 named Makis Voridis as the country's new interior minister. In the 1990s, Voridis founded the now-defunct nationalist party "Hellenic Front", which is affiliated with the far-right National Front in France.

Voridis takes over the office of interior minister from his current position as agriculture minister.

In 2019, he denied that he had anti-Semitic beliefs, after a prominent Greek Jewish official said he had a "dark past."

Meanwhile, Sofia Voultepsi, who in 2014 called migrants "unarmed invaders" in a speech to Parliament, has been named deputy minister of migration.

Voultepsi is a former journalist and has been a member of the liberal conservative party 'New Democracy' (Néa Dimokratía) since 2004.

Conservative turn

Analysts said the new reshuffle is a decisive conservative turn in light of possible early elections ahead of those scheduled for 2023.

The new cabinet also includes the first openly gay member of the Greek government in history, 44-year-old Nicholas Yatromanolakis, named deputy culture minister.

Prime Minister Mitsotakis has a high approval rating in the polls; his New Democracy party leads by 15 points over its rivals in the Syriza party.

According to analysts, he is aiming for early elections to win a victory by a large margin.

With ANSA, AFP

 

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