The Who's Who of the new Greek Gov't (photos)

They’re strong, stubborn and (mainly) SYRIZA… Who are the people who have vowed to take Greece out of the depths of despair?

Yiannis Dragasakis – Deputy Prime Minister

He studied Political and Economic sciences and is elected from the Athens B constituency. He was elected MP with the Coalition of the Left of Movements and Ecology in 1989 for Chania, Crete, and in 1996 for the Athens B constituency. He ran with the Radical Left Coalition SYRIZA in 2004 and 2007 for the Athens B constituency. 

George Stathakis – Minister of the Economy, Infrastructure, Shipping and Tourism

He has a BA in Economics from the Athens University of Economics and Business, an MA of Public and Industrial Economics and PhD from the University of Newcastle with his thesis having been on “Industrial Development and the Regional Problem: The Case of Greece”. His research interests are in radical economics, Marxian political economy, economic development and globalization. He was a research fellow at the University of New York and at Harvard and has written a number of books on the Marshall Plan, CAP reform, Marxism etc.

Thodoris Dritsas – Undersecretary of Shipping and the Aegean

He studied law at the University of Athens and worked as a partner in his family’s pharmacy in Piraeus from 1972 until entering politics. During the dictatorship he was part of the Organization for Socialist Revolution. He was elected MP of the Greek Parliament in Piraeus in 2007 and was four times mayoral candidate for the Municipality of Piraeus in 1998, 2002, 2006 and 2014 with a platform called “The Port of Agony”. No sooner was he given his portfolio that he announced the cancellation of the privatization of the Piraeus Port Authority, promising the Greek public that the “sell-off stops here!” He was always been active in the wider left and participated in the establishment of the Coalition of the Radical Left in 2004.

Elena Koundoura – Undersecretary for Tourism

Born in Athens. She was a member of the national track and field team in the 100m hurdles with numerous records and international distinctions to her name. She graduated from Physical Education and Sports at the University of Athens and speaks English, French and Spanish. She enjoyed an international career in the world of Fashion being the face of Shiseido and edited a number of fashion magazines from 1996 to 2003 before entering politics with the conservative New Democracy Party from 2004-2007. Against the memorandum, she was one of the nine deputies that joined Panos Kammenos in the creation of Independent Greeks (ANEL).

Christos Spirtzis – Undersecretary of Infrastructure

Born in 1969 in Athens, he studied electrical engineering at Democritus University of Thrace and worked as a freelancer since 1995. He is married with two children and had been a unionist since his student years. He also has an academic career.

Nikos Voutsis – Minister of Interior and Administrative Reform

Born in Athens in 1951, he is a civil engineer and a father of three. He has been a member of the Central Committee of SYRIZA since July 2013, while until September 2012 he served as a member of the Regional Council of Attica with the faction “Attiki cooperation-NO to the memorandum”.He participated actively in the mass anti-dictatorship student movement as a member of the student struggle committees (FEA). Then he became vice president of the first Central Council of the Student Union (EFEE), that came out of the 1975 National Council. He was Secretary of the central council of the party EKON Rigas Feraios (1980-1985). Until 1986 he was member of the Internal GREEK COMMUNIST PARTY (KKE esoterikou) and the nine-members-Secretariat. From 1987 until 1991 he participated in Interior KKE-Innovative Left and afterwards 1993 in the new party Coalition of the Left and Progress (SYNASPISMOS). From 1993 to 2013 he was member of the political secretary of SYNASPISMOS.

Giannis Panousis – Undersecretary of Public Order and Citizen Protection

Professor Giannis Panousis was a member of the Faculty of Communication and Media Studies of the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens and former Rector of Democritus University of Thrace. He taught Criminological Sciences with emphasis on Criminology as a Control and Communication System. His research interests were in the fields of Criminology, Punishment Law, Police Investigation Practices, the Manufacturing of Violence and Crime in the Media, Crime in the News, The Image of the Criminal, the Sociology of Deviant Behavior, Social Exclusion and Marginalization. He obtained an undergraduate degree in Law and an undergraduate degree in Political Science, both from the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, a DEA en Sciences Criminelles from Universite de Poitiers, and a Doctorat en Sciences Criminelles from the Universite de Poitiers.He has authored or co-authored more than 20 books and 200 scientific articles. His scholarly work has appeared in leading journals, including “Revue de Science Criminelle et de droit penal compare”, “The criminologist”, “Rivista di Polizia”, “Archives de politique criminelle”, “Eurocriminology” etc.

George Katrougalos – Undersecretary of Administrative Reform and Electronic Government

George Katrougalos, born in Athens in 1963, was a professor of Public Law and a member of the Executive Council of the Democritus University of Thrace and also served as an MEP.  He is a father of two. He has obtained his Law Diploma from Athens University (1985) and his master (D.E.A -1986-) and Doctorate in Public Law from the University Paris I-Sorbonne (1990). His thesis (summa cum laude) had as theme The legitimation crisis of the Administration. The case of Greece (Paris I-Sorbonne, Paris, 1990, Sakkoulas Brs. Publishers, 1994, Athens).  In 1994-1995 he was a visiting professor at Roskilde University, Denmark, under a fellowship of the Danish Research Academy. In 1998-2000 he taught public law at the University of Orleans, France, branch in Athens. In 2007 and 2012 he had been visiting the Law School of New York University, as an Emile Noel fellow and a Senior Emile Noel fellow, respectively. He has lectured as invited speaker at Columbia, Humboldt, Tilburg University and the London School of Economics. He served as the first President and CEO of Vocational Training S.A (2002-2003), a public organisation of the Greek Ministry of Labor and Social Security, and member of the Management Board of the European Centre for the Development of Vocational Training (CEDEFOP), the EU agency specialized in vocational training policy, Vice-President of the Centre for Educational Research (2011-2012) and Chair of the Department of Social Administration of Democritus University. He has worked on research projects of the Council of Europe, the American Bar Association (CEELI Project), the  European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions, the French National Center of Research (C.N.R.S.), the Institute of Greek Constitutional History and Constitutional Law, and the University Research Center of Social Security, Health and Assistance of the Law School of Athens (deputy member of its council of administration 1995-1996). He has worked, as international expert,  in various projects of institutional building in Uzbekistan (1997, 2005), FYROM (2000), Slovakia (2004), Syria (2003), Armenia (2004). In 1998 and 1999 he has offered legal consulting to the Albanian Parliament for the drafting of the new Albanian Constitution and in 2000 was Coordinator of the Stability Pact Programme Institutional Support to the countries of Southern Europe of the Greek Ministry of Foreign Affairs-CECL.  He has worked as special legal advisor to the Greek Minister of Education (1994, 1997-2002). He has represented Greece as legal advisor to the 3d Committee of the General Assembly of the United Nations (2000-2003) and was member of the advising group of the Greek Ministry of Foreign Affairs for the drafting of the Convention on the Draft Constitution of the European Union (2003-2004). He has also authored many books.

Tasia Christodoulopoulou – Alternate Minister of Immigration Policy

She studied Law at Athens University and has been a unionist with active participation at the European and Greek social forum. She is also married to the Undersecretary of Shipping and the Aegean, making this the first time that a husband and wife team have served ministerial roles together in the same government.

Maria Kollia-Tsaroucha – Deputy Minister of the Ministry of Macedonia Thrace

Maria Kollia-Tsaroucha was born in Serres, Northern Greece, in 1958 and has two children. She is an attorney-at-law, and graduated from the Law Faculty of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki.  She was the first woman elected as member of Parliament in the Prefecture of Serres Member of Parliament of the Prefecture of Serres. In 2000, 2004, 2007 and 2009 with New Democracy and in 2012 after the voting down of the second Memorandum of Agreement and the corresponding loan contract, she was deleted from the Parliamentary group of the conservative New Democracy Party and joined the Independent Greeks (ANEL). In May and June 2012 was re-elected as Member of Parliament of Serres Prefecture with the Greek Independent Political party. Among other roles, she has been a member of the inquiry committee for the investigation of “SIEMENS” case.

Yanis Varoufakis – Minister of Finance

Born March 24, 1961. He is a Greek-Australian political economist who has participated in the current debates on the global and European crisis. Author of “The Global Minotaur”, a professor for Economic Theory at the University of Athens and private consultant for Valve Corporation. He calls himself an “accidental economist”. He is also a first-time minister and rookie politician who has been called to spearhead Greece’s EU talks. Sparks are expected.

Nadia Valavani – Deputy Minister of Finance

She has taken part in all postwar struggles as a member of the Communist Youth Movement (KNE)and Greek Communist Party (KKE) that she left in 2989. She has been a member of SYRIZA since 2007.

Dimitris Mardas – Undersecretary of the Ministry of Finance

He is an Istanbul-born Greek who moved to Thessaloniki when he was just a year of age in 1959. He was a professor of economics at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki and also served for three years at the European Commission (1992-1994)  before serving at the Ministry of Development – under Milena Apostolaki and with jailed former minister Akis Tsohatzopoulos – and as Managing Director of the Greek Organization for External Trade.

Panagiotis Lafazanis – Ministry of Productive Reform, Environment and Energy

Born in Elefsina in 1951, he is married with three daughters. He is a mathematician who was first elected into parliament in 2000 when he ran with the SYNASPIMOS coalition. Since then he was reelected at the elections of 2007 and 2009, running with the Coalition Party of “SYRIZA”. He was a member of the Central Council of the Communist Youth of Greece (KNE) and, onwards, a member of the Central Political Committee and the Political Secretariat of the Greek Communist party (KKE). He has been a member of the Political Secretariat of SYNASPISMOS since its foundation (1992). He participated actively in the student’s organized struggle against the dictatorship (hounda) in Greece and he was, therefore, persecuted. He was a member of the Organizing Committee for the occupation of the Athens Low University in 1973.

Yannis Tsironis – Deputy Minister of Productive Reform, Environment and Energy

Born in Athens in 1958, he is a scientist who is married with three children. As a student, he participated in the Riga Feraios group and was a member of the student group that organized the Occupation at the Chemistry building in 1979 that resulted in the abolition of Law 815 by the conservative ND gruop. Since 1983 he has been involved in a number of leftist movements and is a founding mebmer of the Ecologist Greens and also involved in the Prasini Politiki (Green Policies) newspaper.

Vangelis Apostolou – Deputy Minister of Productive Reform, Environment and Energy

Born on the isle of Evia, he lives at Chalkida and has two daughters. He studied forestry and worked at the Bank of Agriculture. He was considered one of the most productive deputies as far as legislative work was concerned and has been active at a local level.

Panagiotis Sgouridis – Undersecretary of the Ministry of Productive Reform, Environment and Energy


Born in Xanthi in 1950 of descent from Istanbul. His father was a refugee from maroneia Rhodope. He completed his university studies at the Polytechnic School of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki and graduated with specialization in Agronomy Surveying Engineering and then joined the socialist PASOK party of Xanthi. He was elected as a representative of the Department of Eastern Macedonia-Thrace in the Technical Chamber of Greece. He was elected a member of the Board “Aspida” of his city. He has a active participation in sport, looking up brightly until today on issues of sport and youth. In 1982 he was elected for the first time as alderman of Xanthi and was reelected in 1986. Four to five years later he was president of General Prefectural Hospital of Xanthi. From this position he fought vigorously and decisively to contribute in the creation of new modern hospital of county. He was elected as member of The Parliament in 1989 and reelected until 2009. From 1993 until 1996 he assumed the duties of the Third Vice-President of the Parliament; from 1996 to 2004 he assumed the duties of the Second Vice-President. He was the essential inspiration for the creation of the All Party Parliamentary Committee for the development of Thrace and the main factor in the adoption of unanimous conclusions. He participated in Committees of the Parliament about the abroad Greeks to consider the demographic problem of Greece. He traveled several times abroad for the promotion of national issues and the strengthening of the Diaspora. He contributed to the founding of the World Parliamentary Union of Greeks. From 2004 to 2009 as a member of the opposition he brought up serious and constructive criticism to the government policy of New Democracy. He was tourism sector and industry sector of PASOK, but didn’t forget to deal with the particular problems of his county.

Aristeidis Baltas – Minister of Culture, Education and Religion





Born on February 9, 1943, he is a philosopher of science and physicist. He is Emeritus Professor of Philosophy of Science at the National Technical University of Athens and President of the Nicos Poulantzas Institute. Baltas trained in electrical and mechanical engineering at the National Technical University of Athens (NTUA) from 1962 to 1967 before going on to complete a doctorate in theoretical physics at University of Paris XI in 1971. In 1982, he returned to NTUA to become a lecturer at the Department of Physics. From 1984 to 1985 he was a visiting fellow at the Center for Philosophy of Science of the University of Pittsburgh, a capacity he later resumed in 2005–6. He was appointed assistant professor of philosophy and methodology of physics at NTUA in 1984, then associate professor of the philosophy of science in 1992 and professor in 2002. Baltas’ research has dealt particularly with the epistemology of Louis Althusser, and more generally with the relationship between philosophy of science and epistemology and between analytic and continental philosophy. Other philosophers studied by Baltas include Ludwig Wittgenstein, Friedrich Nietzsche, Baruch Spinoza, Jacques Derrida, John McDowell, and Walter Benjamin.

Tasos Kourakis – Deputy Minister of Culture, Education and Religion

He was elected MP in the general election of 2007 and 2009 and has served on the standing committee on Cultural and Educational Affairs.

Nikos Xydakis – Deputy Minister of Culture, Education and Religion

Born in 1958 in Piraeus with descent from the isle of Mykonos. He studied graphic art at Piraeus and Syros without completing his studies. He got a degree from dentistry from the University of Athens (1984) and studied philosophy at the University of Athens. he was worked as a journalist at Kathimerini and has written a number of literary works.

Costas Fotakis – Deputy Minister of Research and Innovation

Costas Fotakis is Director of the Institute of Electronic Structure and Laser (IESL) at FORTH (Foundation for Research and Technology-Hellas) and Professor of Physics at the University of Crete. He is also Director of the European Ultraviolet Laser Facility operating at FORTH, which is currently part of the EU project “LASERLAB”, linking 17 major European laser infrastructures. His research interests include laser spectroscopy, molecular photophysics, laser interactions with materials and related applications for material processing and analysis. He has been chair or co-chair of several major international scientific conferences and member of several EU panels including the European Strategy Forum for Research Infrastructures (ESFRI). He has over 200 publications primarily in the field of photonics and their applications and belongs to the editorial boards of several international scientific journals. He is the 2004 recipient of the “Leadership Award / New Focus Prize” of the Optical Society of America (OSA) “for decade-long leadership of, and personal research contribution to, the field of laser applications to art conservation and leadership in establishing and guiding the scientific excellence of the laser science programs at IESL/FORTH”. He has been Springer Professor at the University of California, Berkeley for 2005-6. He is also Life Member and Fellow of OSA and member of the Fellows Committee of the European Optical Society (EOS).

Stavros Kondonis – Deputy Minister of Culture, Education and Religion



Born on Zakynthos in 1963, he has worked as a lawyer since 1995. During his studies he was active as President of the Students Association, serving as president. He has been a member for the Committee for University Asylum as a student representative. He was also a member of the radical Rigas Feraios group.

Panos Skourletis – Minister of Employment 

Born in 1962 in Athens, he studied economics at the University of Piraeus where he became active in the youth wing of the Communist Party of Greece. In 1990, he joined Synaspismos, and subsequently followed that party into Syriza. He became party spokesman of Syriza in October 2009.

Theano Fotiou – Undersecretary for the Ministry of Employment 

An architect born in Athens who has also worked in Paris. She taught at the Royal College of Art in London, College of London, Bartlett School fo Architecture and Planning, the Architectural Association School of Architect in london and Escola Tecnica Superior d’Arquitectura de Barcelona. She was coordinator of the Erasmus and Socrates programs and cofounder of the European Network for the aged. She has served as an MP on the committee on European Affairs.

Rania Antonopoulou – Undersecretary for the Ministry of Employment

Rania Antonopoulou, a lecturer at Bard College is also the director of the Gender Equality and the Economy program at the Levy Institute in New York. She has published a number of articles in high-profile publications such as the Journal of Income Distribution, Feminist Economics Journal, Eastern Economic Review and books, with her work showcased at the United Nations etc. She has taught at New York University, Barnard College and Columbia University. She has studied Economic Science and has an ΜΑ and PhD from the University of New School for Social Research, USA.

Panagiotis Kouroumblis – Minister of Health and Social Insurance

Greece’s new Health Minister is Panagiotis Kouroumblis. He was born in 1951 in the town of Matsouki, in western Greece’s Etolokarnania prefecture. He is of Pontian descent, hailing from a refugee family of ethnic Greeks violently expelled from the southern shores of the Black Sea following the collapse of the Ottoman Empire. He holds a doctorate in social sciences, is a licensed attorney and was elected three times as a deputy from Etoloakarnania with socialist PASOK, before being elected with on leftist SYRIZA’s ticket in 2012, and with the second highest number of votes (by SYRIZA voters) in the most competitive district in Greece — the Athens second election district. He is blind due to the explosion of a German WWII-era grenade since the age of 10. His political activism began when he was still attending the School of the Blind in his student years. During the 1970s he spearheaded a disability rights movement in Greece that focused on the integration of the disabled within community, as he felt that they were socially excluded.

Andreas Xanthos – Deputy Minister of Health and Social Insurance

He graduated from the Medical School of the University of Thessaloniki. He specialized in Microbiology and worked until recently as a doctor in the National Health System (NHS) Health Centre at Perama, Rethymnon and at the Hospital of Rethymnon, Crete. He was Chairman for many years, of the NHS Doctors Union at Rethymnon, Crete, of the General Council of the Greek Federation of Hospital Doctors and the General Assembly of the National Medical Association of Greece. He has published papers on health policy in newspapers and magazines and has participated as a speaker at events-debates on the problems of the NHS and the welfare state. He actively participated in the establishment of the Voluntary Social Solidarity Clinic operated at Rethymnon since 2008. He is a member of the Central Political Committee of SYRIZA. He participates in the Secretariat of Health Thematic Committee of SYRIZA. He was first elected Member of the Parliament from Rethymnon in the May 2012 elections and was reelected in June 2012. He is Head of the Parliamentary Control Committee for Health, on behalf of the Parliamentary Group of SYRIZA EKM.

Dimitris Stratoulis – Deputy minister of Health and Social Insurance

Born in 1958 at the Municipality of Astakos in Etoloakarnania. He has two children. He worked at the hellenic Telecommunications Organization S.A. in the subdirection of working subjects. His studies include a doctorate in labor relations and he is a Law and Political Science Graduate. He has served as coordinator of committee of working policy of SYRIZA, member of Political Secretariat of the coalition of the left, vice-president of Institute of Work of General Confederation of Greek Workers (GSEE). He was member of National Committee for the Rights of Person and, as elected representative of workers, member of Administrative Council Hellenic Telecommunications Organization, Representative Assembly of Social Control of Hellenic Telecommunications Organization while also member of Administration of GSEE, Secretary of her Social Policy. He was activated in Greek and in the European Social Forum, in the social movements of my country and Europe.

Nikos Kotzias – Minister of Foreign Affairs

Born on November 19, 1950, prior to his appointment as Minister of Foreign Affairs, he was a professor of political theories of international and European studies at the University of Piraeus.

Nikos Choundis – Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs

Born in Langadia, Arcadia in 1953, he studied engineering at the National Technical University of Athens and political science and international studies at the National Polytechnic. He joined the left during the dictatorship as a member of the Communist Youth Organization (KNE) and later the Greek Communist Party (KKE) where he served on the central committee before joining in the creation of the SYNASPISMOS leftist coalition. He was an NGL/GUE MEP from 2004 and again in 2009.

Efklidis Tsakalotos – Deputy Miinister at the ministry of Foreign Affairs

Born in the Netherlands in 1960. He was raised in the UK from 1965-1993 where he studied Business and Political Science at Oxford University and the University of Sussex. For four years he taught at the University of Kent. He has lived in Greece since 1993. He has written many books. He was a candidate for the prefecture of Preveza and elected a member of the SYRIZA central committee in December 2004.

Panos Kammenos – National Defence Minister

Born May 12, 1965, Panos Kammenos is  a Greek politician and founder of the centre-right anti-austerity party “Independent Greeks”, which formed the governing coalition of the Hellenic Parliament with the SYRIZA Party after Kammenos met with Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, on January 26, 2015. He was named Greece’s Minister of National Defence on 27 January 2015.He studied economics and psychology at the University of Lyon Business Administration School of Managers. In 1993, he was first elected Member of Parliament in the New Democracy in the Second District of Athens.He has been honored with the Grand Cross of Merit from the Czech Patriarchate, the Medal of Honor from the Patriarchate of Jerusalem and the Order of Knight of the National Order of Merit by the President of France Nicolas Sarkozy. In 2007, he was appointed Deputy Minister of Mercantile Marine, Aegean and Island Policy in the government of Kostas Karamanlis, Minister and politician where the head was Georgios Voulgarakis. He was sometimes involved as an expert mediator and an official observer in elections in foreign countries. He created the right-wing anti-austerity Independent Greeks (ANEL) party on February 24, 2012. At the time, he was known for walking through Greek Parliament wearing a t-shirt stating “Greece is not for sale.”

Kostasa Isihos – Deputy Minister at the Ministry of National Defence

Born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, in 1957. He studied political and financial science at York University in Toronto and was a member of the Communist Youth party of Canada as well as a member of the Greek KKE from 1985. He worked at Olympic Airways for 29 years and was active in the employee mobilizations during its privatization.

Nikos Toskas – Undersecretary at the Ministry of National Defence


He is a retired major general with strong concern about international developments and Turkey’s role in the region. He served at NATO in Brussels and was reponsible for defence policies. He served at the NATO base at Italy and was responsible for the Balkans, Central Asia and Middle East. He worked with socialist PASOK in the defence sector from 2006 and with ISTAME as a scientific adviser from 2008.

Nikos Paraskevopoulos – Minister of Justice, Transparency and Human Rights

He was a criminology and criminal science professor at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki’s Law School. He is the vice president of the Therapy Centre for Dependent Individuals (KETHEA). He was responsible for criminal matters during Justice Minister George Kouvelakis tenure during former PM Andreas Papandreou’s socialist PASOK government and had negotiated at prison riots in 1990 and 1996. He was also responsible for the rehabilitation programs of inmates from 1988-1997.

Nikos Pappas – Minister of State

Economist Nikos Pappas and Tsipras met when they were just 19 years at the youth of the leftist SYNASPISMOS coalition. He is pro-European and wants Greece to remain in the euro, but is also against the Memorandum. He had said: “If Venizelos is synonymous with scandal, then Antonis Samaras is scandal’s surname.” He came to Greece from Scotland when Tsipras called him over in February 2008. At the time he was a researcher at the Fraser of Allender Institute. He has a young daughter.

Panagiotis Nikoloudis – Deputy Minister at the Ministry of Justice, Transparency and Human Rights

Panagiotis Nikoloudis, born 1949, on the Mani Peninsula is an Independent Greek (ANEL) politician

Alekos Flambouraris – Minister of State for Coordinating Government Operations

Born in Athens, he was very active in the student movement. During his studies in Austria and Thessaloniki he was active in student struggles and was involved in the resistance against the Greek dictatorship. He had been a close aide and advisor of Tsipras in recent years.

Terence Quick – Alternate Minister of State 

Born in Thessaloniki in 1947, he is a graduate of Panteios University and is known for his long career as an anchorman and journalist. He was elected in 1986 as adviser to former conservative New Democracy Prime Minister Miltiades Evert. In 2012, he served as a deputy as head of the ballot of the right-wing anti-austerity Independent Greeks (ANEL).

Gabriel Sakellarides – Undersecretary to the Prime Minister

The 35-year-old Greek economist Gabriel Sakellarides was born in the Eighties in the middle class southern suburb of Nea Smyrni. He soft-spoken but exudes strength when it comes to expressing his positions. Athenians got to know him better during his campaign for Athens Mayor in 2006 when he he argued in favor of immigrants and against the police presence in central Athens. His stand on squatting is liberal and he was critical of Kaminis squandering of money on municipal projects that did nothing to improve the quality of life, such as cementing Omonia Square.