Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Mr. Venizelos (nee Turkoglu (son of Turk)) according to US EMBASSY



12:58 π.μ. Τετάρτη, 14 Σεπτεμβρίου 2011

Κύριο μέρος μηνύματος


Viewing cable 09ATHENS1535, WHO'S WHO IN THE NEW GREEK GOVERNMENT

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Reference IDCreatedReleasedClassificationOrigin
09ATHENS15352009-10-07 15:162011-08-30 01:44UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLYEmbassy Athens
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OO RUEHAG RUEHAST RUEHDA RUEHDBU RUEHDF RUEHFL RUEHIK RUEHKW RUEHLA
RUEHLN RUEHLZ RUEHNP RUEHPOD RUEHROV RUEHSK RUEHSL RUEHSR RUEHVK
RUEHYG
DE RUEHTH #1535/01 2801516
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 071516Z OCT 09
FM AMEMBASSY ATHENS
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 0809
INFO EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE IMMEDIATE
RHEHAAA/NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL WASHINGTON DC IMMEDIATE
RHMFISS/JOINT STAFF WASHINGTON DC IMMEDIATE
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHINGTON DC IMMEDIATE
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHINGTON DC IMMEDIATE
UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 06 ATHENS 001535 
 
SENSITIVE 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: PREL MARR ECON GR PGOV
SUBJECT: WHO'S WHO IN THE NEW GREEK GOVERNMENT 
 
1.  (SBU)  Summary:  As expected after his comfortable win in the 
October 4 Greek parliamentary election, PM George Papandreou has 
named a government consisting of some PASOK old guard, with a 
liberal helping of fresh new faces, many of whom have substantial 
international experience, if not government or management 
experience.  At the same time, Papandreou will reorganize the 
ministries themselves, most notably creating a new Ministry for 
Citizens' Protection - something like a Department for Homeland 
Security -- led by a proven performer Michalis Chrysochoides, 
former Minister of Public Order.  He will also devote focus greater 
bureaucratic attention on developing a green economy, as evidenced 
from his appointment of a Deputy Foreign Minister charged with 
promoting a "green" international agenda and the creation of a 
Ministry of Environment, Energy and Climate Change.  Initial public 
reactions from a broad spectrum of Greek press and public reflect 
satisfaction with the modern, technocratic and effective "look" of 
this new government.  End Summary 
 
 
 
 
 
Foreign Ministry 
 
--------------------- 
 
 
 
2. (SBU) George Papandreou, elected Prime Minister in the October 
4, 2009 general elections, was born on June 16, 1952 in St. Paul, 
Minnesota and was educated in Canada, Massachusetts, Stockholm and 
London. George Papandreou is the third-generation of his family to 
become Prime Minister, with grandfather Yeoryios Papandreou and 
father Andreas Papandreou both having previously held the position. 
 
 
Prior to becoming the Minister of Foreign Affairs in February 1999, 
he served as Alternate Minister of Foreign Affairs (from 1996 to 
1999); Minister of Education and Religious Affairs (from 1994 to 
1996 and from 1988 to 1989); Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, 
responsible for overseeing US-Greek relations (from 1993 to 1994); 
and Under Secretary for Cultural Affairs (from 1985 to 1987).  Mr. 
Papandreou has been a Member of Parliament since 1981, a member of 
the Central Committee of PASOK since 1984 and a member of the 
Executive Bureau of PASOK since July, 1996.  He speaks fluent 
English, French and Swedish. 
 
3.  (SBU) Papandreou will retain the Foreign Ministry for an 
undetermined period of time.  Papandreou would like to leverage his 
previous experience as Foreign Minister and his extensive contacts, 
as well as his remaining two years as President of the Socialist 
International, to bring Greece back into a position of playing an 
active role in regional and global policies.  He has appointed two 
younger "fresh faces" to run the Foreign Ministry day to day. 
 
 
 
4.  (SBU)  Dimitris Droutsas:  Appointed Alternate Foreign 
Minister.  A Greek Cypriot born in 1968, Mr. Droutsas was a 
European Union law professor in Vienna, Austria, with an advisory 
capacity to the Austrian chancellor, before becoming an adviser to 
Mr. Papandreou when he arrived at the MFA in 1999. Quickly, Mr. 
Droutsas became Mr. Papandreou's closest foreign policy adviser and 
a central figure in the new PM's kitchen cabinet in his guise as 
director of Mr. Papandreou's diplomatic office since 2004.  With 
Mr. Papandreou retaining the MFA portfolio, Mr. Droutsas, holding 
an upgraded "alternate" minister's job, should be expected to carry 
on with the bulk of the ministry's day-to-day business and 
represent Mr. Papandreou as an alter ego in the majority of 
obligations abroad. 
 
 
 
5. (SBU)  Spyros Kouvelis:  Appointed Deputy Foreign Minister.  Mr. 
Kouvelis, born 1964, studied economics and received a graduate 
degree in agricultural economics and resource management from the 
University of Reading in England. He has strong interests in 
environmental studies and was a WWF director for Greece between 
1992 and 1997. He entered parliament in 2007 and was re-elected in 
the October 4, 2009 elections. He was PASOK's spokesman on 
environmental issues and widely expected to be appointed 
Environment minister. He visited the U.S. on the International 
Visitors Program in 2008.  His appointment as Deputy FM instead was 
one of the "surprises" of the new cabinet. His portfolio authority 
 
ATHENS 00001535  002 OF 006 
 
 
remains unclear. He could possibly assume tasks of international 
development relations with special emphasis in promoting Mr. 
Papandreou "green" international agenda. 
 
 
 
 
 
Deputy Prime Minister 
 
--------------------------- 
 
 
 
6.  (SBU) Theodoros Pangalos:  Selected to chair the powerful 
Coordinating Committee on Defense and Foreign Affairs (KSEA) which 
among other things approves military procurement, and the 
(inter-Ministerial) Committee for Economic and Social Policy.  The 
seventy-one year old Pangalos was first elected to parliament in 
1981.  He has been an almost permanent cabinet presence during 
PASOK administrations over the years.  French trained, influenced 
by the teachings of the French Maoist movement, and negatively 
inclined towards capitalism, Mr. Pangalos was a key member of the 
original PASOK "revolutionary" group that surrounded the late 
Andreas Papandreou. He has a long history of mercurial behavior, a 
friendly disposition toward "militant" political action, and acid 
language used with abandon against both friend and foe. The new 
deputy PM was at the center of the 1999 Ocalan affair, and was 
forced to resign his Foreign Ministry portfolio after the PKK 
leader was nabbed outside the Greek embassy in Nairobi and 
surrendered to Turkish intelligence operatives. He can be trusted 
to speak his mind without much reservation, or attempt at 
consensus, during policy debates and always lean in the left 
direction as perceived by the old "revolutionaries." Pangalos comes 
from an old political family. His grandfather, an army general 
after whom Mr. Pangalos is named, led a military dictatorship in 
the 1920s. 
 
 
 
 
 
Prime Minister's Office 
 
------------------------------- 
 
 
 
7.  (SBU)  Haralambos Pamboukis:  An associate professor of 
international law at the Athens University, Mr. Pamboukis, born 
1958, has risen to become Mr. Papandreou's primary adviser on 
government organization. His appointment as Minister to the PM 
(effectively Chief of Staff) makes him the PM's gatekeeper. During 
1999-2001 he was Secretary General for Administration and 
Organization at the MFA. 
 
 
 
Ministry of Defense 
 
----------------------- 
 
 
 
8.  (SBU) Evangelos Venizelos: Leader of a PASOK faction that has 
traditionally been in opposition to Papandreou.  A university 
professor of constitutional law born in 1957, Mr. Venizelos (nee 
Turkoglu) collided with Mr. Papandreou over the party leadership in 
2007 - and decisively lost. He first entered parliament in 1993 and 
has risen to the status of leading PASOK member from Thessaloniki. 
Mr. Venizelos held cabinet portfolios in previous PASOK 
administrations and was member of top party organs.  At Defense, 
Mr. Venizelos will be expected to deal with the impasse of arms 
procurement and energize an organization demoralized by the 
disinterest and lack of direction under the previous government. 
His understanding of defense matters is minimal at present, 
although his supporters suggest that he is a "fast learner" and 
will make up for an absence of practical experience with his 
trademark workaholic approach. 
 
ATHENS 00001535  003 OF 006 
 
 
9.  (SBU)  Panos Beglitis:  The Alternate Minister of Defense, 52, 
was the MFA spokesman during Mr. Papandreou's tenure as foreign 
minister. He was first elected to parliament in 2007. He is a 
lawyer by training with graduate studies in International Law and 
International Relations. His exact portfolio authorities remain 
unclear. 
 
 
 
 
 
Ministry of Citizen's Protection (roughly equivalent to DHS) 
 
--------------------------------------------- ---------------------- 
----- 
 
 
 
10.  (SBU)  Michalis Chrysochoides:  Born 1955, he has been a PASOK 
member of parliament since 1989 and has been appointed to head a 
new ministry which brings together from other ministries all of the 
public security agencies (e.g. national police, coast guard, fire 
services).  The high point of his career was the roundup of the 
November 17 terrorist group in 2002 while he was Public Order 
minister. Mr. Chrysochoides has also held deputy minister 
portfolios and was briefly PASOK party secretary.  By assuming the 
portfolio of a hybrid homeland security department, Mr. 
Chrysochoides returns to familiar territory. One of the biggest 
issues on his plate is the resurgence of domestic 
terrorism/anarchist violence and the need to reorganize the Greek 
police in the wake of the catastrophic December 2008 riots and the 
activities of terror groups like Revolutionary Struggle. Other 
issues needing urgent attention are the  reorganization of Civil 
Defense to better prepare for tackling forest fires and dealing 
with a tremendous wave of illegal immigration. 
 
 
 
11.  (SBU)  Spyros Vouyas:  The 57-year old university professor, 
appointed Deputy Minister for "Citizen's Protection," was a 
relative "surprise" to some pundits given his lack of experience 
with law enforcement  and internal security.  Mr. Vouyas, a civil 
engineer by training with a graduate degree in transportation 
networks, joined PASOK's parliamentary party in 2000, was briefly 
PASOK party spokesman, and a deputy minister in the Simitis 
administration. Although his exact portfolio is still unclear, he 
will need to do learn fast on the critical questions of police 
reorganization and counterterrorist strategies. 
 
 
 
 
 
Ministry of Economy 
 
------------------------ 
 
 
 
12.  (SBU) Louka Katselis:  Katselis will be heading the new 
Economy "hyper-ministry," into which the old Merchant Marine and 
Aegean Island Affairs industry has been folded.  Katselis will 
overlook economic development, and promote the competitiveness of 
the Greek economy. She should also be expected to advise the PM on 
deficit issues and external debt management.  A Princeton educated 
economist who taught at Yale between 1977 and 1985, 57-year old 
Katselis belongs to the original Andreas Papandreou group of 
"democratic reform" cadres, who worked in the 1980s on Greece's 
socialist transformation as "the third road to Socialism."  She has 
most recently been a professor of economics at the Athens 
University and was elected to parliament on October 4, 2009.  She 
is married to Gerasimos Arsenis, a "tsar" of the economy under 
Andreas Papandreou, and later Education and Defense minister who, 
unsuccessfully, attempted to become PASOK leader in 1996.  Her 
detractors describe her as a "populist" in her approach to economic 
policy.  A fringe terrorist group, Conspiracy of the Nuclei of 
Fire, claimed credit for a small bomb attack on their residence in 
mid-September. Shortly thereafter Ms. Katselis' website was later 
hacked into, and statements in defense of the attackers 
fraudulently posted to her blog. 
 
 
 
Ministry of Finance 
 
ATHENS 00001535  004 OF 006 
 
 
---------------------- 
 
 
 
13.  (SBU) Yorgos Papakonstantinou:  He assumes the revamped 
Finance ministry, which is charged with controlling waste and 
fraud, making internal revenue work, and beating tax evasion - a 
critical problem of the Greek economy. Mr. Papakonstantinou will be 
also in charge of talks with the European Commission on the issue 
of deficits and Greece's sovereign debt.  48 years old, he has been 
a quiet PASOK fixture since the early 1980s, when he first joined 
the staff of ex-PM Simitis as an adviser in 1982.  Later, he spent 
two years as a special undersecretary at the Economy ministry. He 
holds a Ph.D. in Economics from the London School of Economics and 
briefly taught at the Athens Graduate School of Business and 
Economics.  Mr. Papakonstantinou entered parliament in 2007 as a 
member from the northern district of Kozani, and became party 
spokesman, where he had daily interaction Mr. Papandreou. 
 
 
 
Ministry of Justice, Transparency and Human Rights 
 
--------------------------------------------- ------------------ 
 
 
 
14.  (SBU)  Harris Kastanides:  Another party veteran who joined 
PASOK at its inception in 1974 and was one of Papandreou's key 
supporters in the PASOK internal party election in November 2007, 
Mr. Kastanides, born in 1956,  comes from a left-of-center 
Thessaloniki political family with an established reputation. He 
was first  elected to parliament in 1981 and has held several 
ministerial portfolios, including Interior and Public  Order. His 
appointment at Justice drew positive remarks even from political 
opponents. He will be expected to deal with the "hot potato" of 
human rights at a time Greece is inundated with illegal immigrants, 
not to mention problems linked to resurgent domestic terrorism, a 
severe judicial backlog, and corruption.  He was an International 
Visitor nominated by Consulate Thessaloniki on a 1991 U.S Foreign 
Policy Process tour. 
 
 
 
Ministry of Education, Continuing Education, and Religion 
 
--------------------------------------------- ---------------------- 
--- 
 
 
 
15. (SBU) Anna Diamantopoulou:  The 50-year old Ms. Diamantopoulou, 
a civil engineer by training, has a long PASOK party presence that 
began in her twenties. She was a Greek commissioner for Employment 
and Social Affairs on the European Commission between 1999 and 
2004, and held deputy minister portfolios under Simitis.  Issues on 
her plate include reforming a state-controlled university system in 
near standstill over myriad demands and protests, licensing of 
private colleges that could provoke severe student and teaching 
staff protests soon, the question of "multicultural" education, and 
relations between the Greek state and religions other than Eastern 
Orthodoxy. 
 
 
 
 
 
Ministry of Interior, Decentralization and Electronic Government 
 
--------------------------------------------- ---------------------- 
----------- 
 
 
 
16.  (SBU)  Yannis Ragousis:  The new Interior minister is 44 years 
old. He holds a graduate degree in Economic Development from Sussex 
University in England. A small town mayor on the island of Paros 
between 2002 and 2006, and still the owner of a fast food 
restaurant there, Mr. Ragousis joined PASOK in his university 
student years and was elected member of the now obsolete central 
committee in 1994, a post he held for two years. He later served as 
special adviser to PASOK-appointed European Commission Greek 
commissioner Christos Papoutsis.  In 2007, Mr. Ragousis was brought 
 
ATHENS 00001535  005 OF 006 
 
 
into the Papandreou inner circle as party spokesman. He was 
simultaneously appointed to PASOK's state list and entered 
parliament after the elections of September 2007. He was later 
appointed secretary of the party. He is one of the closest 
Papandreou collaborators, with particular influence on internal 
party dynamics. Soft spoken and deliberate, Mr. Ragousis should be 
expected to be a primary lever in Mr. Papandreou's "new blood" 
approach.  Mr. Ragousis is expected to promote the Papandreou plans 
for beating corruption and modernizing the government apparat. He 
is also expected to push for the implementation of electronic 
governance and oversee there-districting of the country as part of 
reforming local and regional government. 
 
 
 
Ministry of Culture and Tourism 
 
-------------------------------------- 
 
 
 
17.  (SBU)  Pavlos Geroulanos:  Mr. Geroulanos was born in 1966 and 
studied at Williams, Harvard, and MIT. He was a key adviser of Mr. 
Papandreou at the MFA and eventually became the director of Mr. 
Papandreou's political office. The ranking member of Mr. 
Papandreou's kitchen cabinet, he was also made chief of PASOK 
communications in 2004. Mr. Geroulanos, as Culture Minister, will 
face skepticism over the merging of the Culture Ministry with the 
Ministry for Tourism. 
 
 
 
 
 
Ministry of Health and Social Policy 
 
------------------------------------------ 
 
 
 
18.  (SBU)  Mariliza Xenoyannakopoulou:  Ms. Xenoyannakopoulou, 
born 1963, has substantial European parliament experience and was 
the  leading member of PASOK's Euro-parliamentary group. She was 
elected to the national parliament in  2007 and between 2005 and 
2006 was the secretary of PASOK's National Council (the former 
central  committee).  A lawyer by training with graduate studies at 
the Sorbonne, low-key Ms. Xenoyannakopoulou is called  upon to 
tackle a bankrupt national health system and a creaking, 
hydrocephalous social security  edifice that has been flagged by 
Greece's international partners and rating agencies as a key threat 
to  the country's economic stability. 
 
 
 
Ministry of Environment, Energy and Climate Change 
 
--------------------------------------------- ------------------- 
 
 
 
19.  (SBU)  Tina Birbili:  Ms. Birbili, 39, holds a Ph.D. from 
Imperial College London in environmental management. Her 
appointment to head the new Environment, Energy, and Climate Change 
ministry, however, was  seen as more a result of her capacity as 
Mr. Papandreou's speechwriter, rather than of her academic 
qualifications. Without any government or managerial experience, 
she is placed at the helm of new ministry with a still unclear 
mission. Ms. Birbili was the primary author of PASOK's proposals on 
the environment and green development. 
 
 
 
Ministry of Infrastructure, Transportation and Networks 
 
--------------------------------------------- --------------------- 
 
 
 
20.  (SBU)  Dimitris Reppas: A PASOK old timer, Mr. Reppas, a 
dentist, was first elected to parliament in 1974.  Born in 1952,  M 
r. Reppas was literally "present at the creation" of the party and 
followed a faithful PASOK career  during both the highs and the 
lows under Andreas Papandreou and Costas Simitis to eventually 
arrive at the doorstep of George Papandreou as a senior adviser who 
 
ATHENS 00001535  006 OF 006 
 
 
did not belong to the former's "kitchen cabinet." Mr. Reppas has 
been Labor Minister and party spokesman.  His current ministry is 
crucially associated with economic growth and he will be expected 
to oversee a substantial ministry budget, perhaps the highest next 
to that of the MoD. Mr. Reppas will be responsible for absorbing 
the lion's share of EU regional development funds and introducing 
electronic governance as a standard institutional means of the new 
PASOK government. 
 
 
 
Ministry of Agricultural Development and Food 
 
--------------------------------------------- ------------ 
 
 
 
21.  (SBU)  Katerina Batzeli:  Born in 1958, Ms Batzeli has spent 
time at the European Parliament as a staff adviser to the PASOK 
parliamentary party and was also an adviser of the Greek 
commissioner on the European Commission. She is the deputy academic 
director of PASOK's think tank, the Andreas Papandreou institute 
(ISTAME). At Agriculture, she will be dealing with the problems of 
shrinking EU subsidies, protesting farmers, and consumer 
protection. 
Speckhard

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