Evangelos Venizelos

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Evangelos Venizelos
Ευάγγελος Βενιζέλος

MP
Evangelos Venizelos (2009).jpg
Minister for Foreign Affairs
Incumbent
Assumed office
25 June 2013
Prime Minister Antonis Samaras
Preceded by Dimitris Avramopoulos
President of the Panhellenic Socialist Movement
Incumbent
Assumed office
18 March 2012
Preceded by George Papandreou
Minister of Finance
In office
17 June 2011 – 21 March 2012
Prime Minister George Papandreou
Lucas Papademos
Preceded by Giorgos Papakonstantinou
Succeeded by Philippos Sachinidis
Minister of National Defence
In office
7 October 2009 – 17 June 2011
Prime Minister George Papandreou
Preceded by Vangelis Meimarakis
Succeeded by Panagiotis Beglitis
Minister of Culture and Sport
In office
21 November 2000 – 10 March 2004
Prime Minister Costas Simitis
Preceded by Theodoros Pangalos
Succeeded by Kostas Karamanlis
In office
26 September 1996 – 19 February 1999
Prime Minister Costas Simitis
Preceded by Stavros Benos
Succeeded by Elisavet Papazoi
Minister of Development
In office
19 February 1999 – 13 April 2000
Prime Minister Costas Simitis
Preceded by Vasso Papandreou
Succeeded by Nikos Christodoulakis
Minister of Justice
In office
22 January 1996 – 30 August 1996
Prime Minister Costas Simitis
Preceded by Ioannis Pottakis
Succeeded by Anargyros Fatouros
Minister of Transport and Communications
In office
15 September 1995 – 22 January 1996
Prime Minister Andreas Papandreou
Preceded by Athanasios Tsouras
Succeeded by Haris Kastanidis
Minister of the Press and the Media
In office
8 July 1994 – 15 September 1995
Prime Minister Andreas Papandreou
Preceded by Position established
Succeeded by Tilemachos Chitiris
Personal details
Born (1957-01-01) 1 January 1957 (age 57)
Thessaloniki, Greece
Political party Panhellenic Socialist Movement
Spouse(s) Vasiliki Bakatselou
Alma mater University of Thessaloniki
Panthéon-Assas University
Religion Greek Orthodoxy
Website Official website

Evangelos Venizelos (Greek: Ευάγγελος Βενιζέλος, pronounced [eˈvaɲɟelos veniˈzelos]; born 1 January 1957) is a Greek politician who has been Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs since 25 June 2013.[1] Previously, he was Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Finance of Greece from 17 June 2011 to 21 March 2012.[2] He is a member of the Hellenic Parliament for the Panhellenic Socialist Movement (PASOK) for the first electoral district of Thessaloniki.

He is a Professor of Constitutional Law at the Law School of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki.

On 18 March 2012, Venizelos was elected unopposed to replace George Papandreou as PASOK president and led the party in the May 2012 general election as well as the June 2012 general election.[3]

Personal life and studies

Evangelos Venizelos was born in Thessaloniki on 1 January 1957. He is unrelated to his famous namesake, Eleftherios Venizelos.[4][5][6] He is married to Lila A. Bakatselou and has a daughter. He was an undergraduate at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki from 1974 through 1978 and completed postgraduate studies at Panthéon-Assas University in France. In 1980, he received his Ph.D. in Law from the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki.

In 1984, Venizelos was appointed lecturer at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, and subsequently Professor of Constitutional Law. Among other positions, he has held a post on the board of the National Centre of Public Administration, the National Bank of Greece, and the Committee for Local Radio (independent authority responsible for the oversight of local radio stations in Greece). He became a national figure in 1989, when he successfully defended Andreas Papandreou from corruption allegations. During the trial, Venizelos demonstrated his powerful gift of oratory. Impressed with his young lawyer, Andreas Papandreou included him in the PASOK list of parliamentary candidates in 1993, and when PASOK returned to power that year, Venizelos became the Government Spokesman.

He speaks French and English.

Venizelos is the author of a number of books, monographs and papers, including most recently Agenda 16 Greek: Ατζέντα 16) in 2007, a collection of writings about the future of the university system in Greece, including some articles previously published on the web. Other writings have dealt with current political issues and the media, foreign policy, and developmental policy. His recent works focus more on political theory and cultural issues. He strongly opposes the clash of civilizations theory, and has written extensively about the Greek "civilization of civilizations" (Venizelos, 2001).

Parliamentary activities

E. Venizelos was elected MP with PASOK in the Thessaloniki A constituency in the general elections of 1993, 1996, 2000, 2004, 2007 and 2009. He has been a member of the parliamentary committee for the Revision of the Constitution, on which he was spokesman for the majority party in the parliaments elected in 1993, 1996, 2000, 2004 and 2007. Moreover, he was a member of the Standing Committees on National Defence and Foreign Affairs, on Public Administration, Public Order and Justice and on European Affairs.

Political activities

As a student, Venizelos served on the Central Council of the Student Union of the University of Thessaloniki (FEAPT) in 1977, and the National Student Union of Greece (EFEE) in 1975.

He has been a member of the PASOK Central Committee since 1990. In the past he was a member of the PASOK Executive Bureau.

He has held the following government posts:

After the legislative elections of 2007, in which PASOK was soundly defeated, Venizelos announced his candidacy for the leadership of the party. In the leadership election, held on 11 November 2007, Venizelos was defeated by incumbent party leader George Papandreou, receiving 38.18% of the vote against 55.91% for Papandreou.[7]

When named by Papandreou to the finance and deputy PM positions in June, 2011, Venizelos said "'I am leaving defense today to go to the real battle' to reduce Europe’s biggest debt load – almost 1 1/2 times the size of its economy."[8] David Marsh of London and Oxford Capital Markets in MarketWatch wrote that both "German parliamentarians who voted solidly earlier this month to involve private-sector creditors in the next bail-out package," which Angela Merkel has now dropped as a precondition, and "Greece’s politicians and people, who must bow to further austerity as the price for fresh external support," were central as "the stage now shifts to further players in the theatre of Greek affairs." And "[n]obody knows whether the burly new Finance Minister Evangelos Venizelos will put in a starring role or turn out merely as a transitory figure."[9]

Committees

  1. Member of the Special Standing Committee on Institutions and Transparency

Issues

Venizelos was active in the Macedonia naming dispute, when elements in Greece opposed the use of the name "Macedonia" by the newly independent neighbouring Republic of Macedonia. Columnist Mark Dragoumis of Athens News opined that, "[i]n February 1994, as minister of information, [Venizelos] was instrumental in convincing the ailing Prime Minister Andreas Papandreou to impose that idiotic 'embargo' on the country later named FYROM." Dramoulis maintained that Venizelos' motivation was to gain "nationalist votes in his Thessaloniki constituency."[10]

Dragoumis also criticised Venizelos for helping pass a law – "in order to boost [his] popularity among Greek republicans" – to impose a requirement on Constantine II, ex-king of Greece, and his family if they wanted to be granted Greek nationality. The requirement was to submit a declaration that they "unreservedly respected the 1975 Constitution and accepted and recognised the Hellenic Republic." The columnist termed it a "silly precondition – reminiscent of the 'declarations of repentance' that Greek leftists were obliged to sign under pressure during the civil war and after."[10] Ultimately, the law proved irrelevant once Greece signed the Schengen Agreement allowing the ex-king to travel to Greece via Italy without having to pass through Greek immigration.[11]

Notes

  1. ^ http://ekathimerini.com/4dcgi/_w_articles_wsite1_1_24/06/2013_505617
  2. ^ "Ανακοινώθηκε το νέο υπουργικό σχήμα" (in Greek). ana-mpa.gr. 17 June 2011. Retrieved 17 June 2011 work=ANA-MPA. 
  3. ^ "Greek socialists vote for finance minister as new leader". Kathimerini (Athens). 18 March 2012. Retrieved 18 March 2012. 
  4. ^ Mark Dragoumis (2007-01-12). "Education is not possible in universities at the mercy of 'rebeloi'". Athens News. Retrieved 2007-09-29. 
  5. ^ Mark Dragoumis (2007-10-05). "Pasok's lost cause: 'Always oppose - never propose'". Athens News. Retrieved 2007-10-11. 
  6. ^ πολιτικό ημερολόγιο...: Λάσπη στη Wikipedia: Η μάχη των ονομάτων!
  7. ^ "George Papandreou wins PASOK leadership election with 55.91 pc", Athens News Agency (hri.org), 15 November 2007.
  8. ^ Petrakis, Maria, and Natalie Weeks, "Greek New Finance Minister Venizelos Says Prepared for Battle", Businessweek, 17 June 2011, 11:29 AM EDT. Retrieved 21 June 2011.
  9. ^ Marsh, David, "For Greece, a delicate endgame of fingerpointing ", MarketWatch, 20 June 2011 12:01 a.m. EDT. Retrieved 21 June 2011.
  10. ^ a b Dragoumis, Mark (5 October 2007). "Pasok's lost cause: 'Always oppose – never propose'". Athens News. Retrieved 21 June 2011. .
  11. ^ "The ex-king Konstantine de-Grecia departed from Greece (in Greek)". typos.com.cy. 16 February 2003. Retrieved 26 November 2012. .

References

External links

Political offices
New office Minister for the Press and the Media
1994–1995
Succeeded by
Tilemachos Chitiris
Preceded by
Athanasios Tsouras
Minister of Transport and Communications
1995–1996
Succeeded by
Haris Kastanidis
Preceded by
Ioannis Pottakis
Minister of Justice
1996
Succeeded by
Anargyros Fatouros
Preceded by
Stavros Benos
Minister of Culture and Sport
1996–1999
Succeeded by
Elisavet Papazoi
Preceded by
Vasso Papandreou
Minister of Development
1999–2000
Succeeded by
Nikos Christodoulakis
Preceded by
Theodoros Pangalos
Minister of Culture and Sport
2000–2004
Succeeded by
Kostas Karamanlis
Preceded by
Vangelis Meimarakis
Minister of National Defence
2009–2011
Succeeded by
Panagiotis Beglitis
Preceded by
Giorgos Papakonstantinou
Minister of Finance
2011–2012
Succeeded by
Philippos Sachinidis
Preceded by
Dimitris Avramopoulos
Minister for Foreign Affairs
2013–present
Incumbent
Party political offices
New office Deputy Leader of the Panhellenic Socialist Movement
2004–2012
Succeeded by
Position abolished
Preceded by
George Papandreou
Leader of the Panhellenic Socialist Movement
2012–present
Incumbent