Greece names its first openly gay minister: Harvard-educated Nicholas Yatromanolakis, 44, is appointed culture deputy in Cabinet reshuffle

  • Nicholas Yatromanolakis was promoted from the position of general secretary at the ministry of culture
  • The Greek government retained its ministers of health and finance in reshuffle
  • Mr Yatromanolakis studied a Masters in Public Policy at Harvard University

Greece’s centre-right government has made history by naming the country’s first openly gay minister in a Cabinet reshuffle.

Nicholas Yatromanolakis, 44, was named as the new deputy minister of culture after being promoted from the position of general secretary at the ministry.

The government retained its ministers of health and finance and most other key positions in the reshuffle.  

Greece is reeling from the impact of the pandemic that caused a spike in deaths in November and is expected to have caused a 10.5 per cent contraction of its gross domestic product in 2020.

Nicholas Yatromanolakis, 44, was named as the new deputy minister of culture after being promoted from the position of general secretary at the ministry

He studied Political Science and International Relations at Panteion University in Athens before studying a Masters in Public Policy at Harvard University. Pictured: Mr Yatromanolakis with his dog 

Mr Yatromanolakis often posts adorable pictures of his rescue dog Vrasidas and his cat Patrick on Instagram

Despite the difficulties, Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis left most key Cabinet positions unchanged, retaining Christos Staikouras as finance minister and Vasilis Kilikias as health minister.

Mr Yatromanolakis, who often posts adorable pictures of his rescue dog Vrasidas and his cat Patrick on Instagram, studied Political Science and International Relations at Panteion University in Athens before studying a Masters in Public Policy at Harvard University.

His appointment is seen by critics as a landmark move for the LGBT community as Mr Yatromanolakis has focused on their rights during campaigns.

On his Instagram profile, he describes himself as a ‘dad to a cat and dog’ and puts his pronouns as ‘he/him’

Mr Yatromanolakis also made history in July last year when he was the first openly gay man to be appointed to a senior government position

He has also been active in focusing on the social inclusion of vulnerable populations as well as the mental and physical health of children

Mr Yatromanolakis has been vocal on Instagram about the importance of wearing a face mask to protect each other from coronavirus

On his Instagram profile, he describes himself as a ‘dad to a cat and dog’ and puts his pronouns as ‘he/him’. 

Mr Yatromanolakis also made history in July last year when he was the first openly gay man to be appointed to a senior government position. He was appointed as the New General Secretary of Contemporary Culture.  

He has also been active in focusing on the social inclusion of vulnerable populations as well as the mental and physical health of children.   

The cabinet minister was a founding member of the Potami political party. Before leaving the party in 2016 to join the current New Democracy government, he was Potami’s campaign manager for the 2014 EU elections.

Mr Yatromanolakis has been vocal on Instagram about the importance of wearing a face mask to protect each other from coronavirus 

The cabinet reshuffle comes as Greece has been reeling from the impact of coronavirus. 

Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said he was forced to act after a spike in cases over the past five days, saying that without a second lockdown pressure on the country’s healthcare system would be ‘unbearable’

The capital’s usually bustling streets were quiet in November with residents only being allowed to leave their homes for specific reasons

Pictured: An elderly woman applauds during a vaccination at a nursing house in Athens today

After Greece saw a spike of new COVID-19 infections and deaths in November, authorities imposed a second lockdown which closed schools and retail businesses. 

Prime Minister Mitsotakis said he was forced to act after a spike in cases left intensive care units bordering on full capacity. 

He said that without a second lockdown pressure on the country’s healthcare system would be ‘unbearable’. 

In November, there were 2,673 confirmed cases coronavirus during the spike in infections. This figure has since decreased during the second lockdown, with 663 new confirmed cases yesterday. 

The country also had 100 confirmed deaths a day as a result of coronavirus in early December – but yesterday 50 deaths were recorded.  

Vaccinations were expanded from nine to 50 hospitals nationwide on Monday. 

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