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Kyriakos Mitsotakis (Greek Κυριάκος Μητσοτάκης; born March 4, 1968) is a Greek politician who is serving as Prime Minister of Greece and the President of New Democracy. He was previously Leader of the Opposition from 2016 to 2019, and also served as Minister of Administrative Reform from 2013 to 2015.
Mitsotakis was first elected to the Hellenic Parliament from the Athens B constituency in 2004. He was elected the party's leader in January 2016. Three years later, on July 7, 2019, he led his party to a majority in the 2019 election, their first since 2007. He is the son of former Prime Minister Konstantinos Mitsotakis.
Early life and education
Mitsotakis was born in Athens, in 1968, the son of the then-MP Konstantinos Mitsotakis and his wife Marika (née Giannoukou). At the time of his birth, his family was under house arrest by the military junta that had declared his father persona non grata and imprisoned him on the night of the coup. Later that year, the family left Greece for Turkey and eventually Paris. They returned to Greece in 1974, after the fall of the Junta.
Mitsotakis graduated from Athens College in 1986. From 1986 to 1990, he attended Harvard University where he earned a bachelor's degree in social studies. From 1992 to 1993, he attended Stanford University, earning a Master's in International Policy. From 1993 to 1995, he attended Harvard Business School where he earned an MBA.
From 1990 to 1991 Kyriakos Mitsotakis worked as a financial analyst at the corporate finance division of Chase Bank in London. From 1991 to 1992, Mitsotakis returned to Greece and joined the Hellenic Air Force to fulfil his mandatory national service obligations. From 1995 to 1997, and following the completion of his post-graduate studies, he was employed by the consultancy McKinsey & Company in London, focusing primarily on the telecommunications and financial services industries. From 1997 to 1999 he worked for Alpha Ventures, a private equity subsidiary of Alpha Bank, as a senior investment officer, executing venture capital and private equity transactions. In 1999 he founded NBG Venture Capital, the private equity and venture capital subsidiary of the National Bank of Greece, and acted as its CEO until April 2003, when he resigned to pursue a career in politics.
During the 2000 legislative election, Mitsotakis worked for New Democracy's national campaign. In the 2004 legislative election, Mitsotakis ran in the Athens B constituency, receiving more votes than any other New Democracy candidate in the country and was elected to the Hellenic Parliament.
Mitsotakis is honorary president of Konstantinos K. Mitsotakis Foundation, aiming at promoting the life and works of Konstantinos Mitsotakis and at reporting the modern political history of Greece.
On June 24, 2013, Mitsotakis was appointed as the Minister of Administrative Reform and e-Governance in Antonis Samaras' cabinet, succeeding Antonis Manitakis. He served in this position until January 2015. During this time, he pursued comprehensive national reforms by implementing a functional reorganization of institutions, structures and processes. He steadfastly supported the drastic downsizing of the Public Sector and the structural reform of the tax administration.
In 2015, Mitsotakis served as a parliamentary representative for New Democracy, representing the President of the party in Parliament, as well as the body of the party's Representatives. He was charged with expressing the positions of his party during Parliamentary procedures and discourse, as well as ensuring the proper function of Parliament through a process of checks and balances. In March 2015, he claimed that then-Minister of Finance Yiannis Varoufakis was undermining the Greek negotiations over the third bailout programme, saying: "Every time he opens his mouth, he creates a problem for the country’s negotiating position."
Following the resignation of Antonis Samaras as party leader and the failure of New Democracy in the September 2015 snap election, Mitsotakis announced his candidacy to succeed him. On 10 January 2016, Mitsotakis was elected president of the New Democracy political party with almost 4% difference from opponent Vangelis Meimarakis. A week following Mitsotakis' election as leader, two opinion polls were published that put New Democracy ahead of SYRIZA for the first time in a year.
In his words he "is an ardent defender of a small and efficient state, education reform, the fight against red-tape and monopolistic practices that impede development and the fight against partisanship and cronyism in government".
Under his leadership, New Democracy won 33% of the votes in the European elections in 2019. He campaigned on nationalist issues by criticizing the Prespa agreement on the name of North Macedonia and the government's policies for welcoming exiles, managing to win back votes from the Golden Dawn Party.
Prime Minister of Greece
New Democracy won a landslide victory in the 2019 legislative election, scoring 39.85% of votes and securing 158 seats in the Hellenic Parliament. On July 8 2019, Greek President Prokopis Pavlopoulos accepted Tsipras's resignation and tasked Mitsotakis with forming a new government. The following day, his cabinet was sworn in.
Mitsotakis is the younger brother of former Minister for Foreign Affairs and Mayor of Athens Dora Bakoyannis, making him the brother-in-law of the late Pavlos Bakoyannis, who was assassinated by the terrorist group 17 November in 1989 and the uncle of Kostas Bakoyannis, former Regional Governor of Central Greece and current Mayor of Athens.
Mitsotakis is married to Mareva Grabowski, an investment banker with Greek, Polish and Egyptian roots. They have three children, Sophia, Constantine and Daphne.
In addition to Greek, he speaks English, French and German.
Siemens scandal allegations
In 2007, it was reported that Mitsotakis was involved in the Siemens Greek bribery scandal. However, Mitsotakis has repeatedly denied any involvement and no indication of guilt has so far been proven. The Siemens trial, in which Mitsotakis is not involved, is still pending.
Electronic office equipment, call centers, air conditioners etc. worth approx. €130,000 was received in the period preceding the 2007 elections (June to September 2007) by Mitsotakis from Siemens and two of its subsidiaries. The invoices indicate payment period of up to 60 days, however no part of the amount was paid until February 2008, when part of it was paid, just when the Siemens case was reopened by the courts, and an amount of €43,850 was paid by check from Mr. Mitsotakis on Monday June 2. Earlier (on 29 May) testimonies had been made about "donations and grants by Siemens to politicians" and on 30 May 2008 the prosecutor's investigation took place at the company's offices.