Makis Voridis

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Makis Voridis
MP
Minister for Health
Incumbent
Assumed office
9 June 2014
Preceded by Adonis Georgiades
Member of the Hellenic Parliament
Incumbent
Assumed office
28 June 2012
Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Networks
In office
11 November 2011 – 17 May 2012
Preceded by Giannis Ragousis
Succeeded by Simos Simopoulos
Personal details
Born (1964-08-23) August 23, 1964 (age 50)
Athens, Greece
Political party New Democracy (since 2012)
LAOS (2005–2012)
Hellenic Front (1994–2005)
Spouse(s) Danai Michelakos, pediatrician
Children Christos M. Voridis
Residence Athens
Occupation Lawyer
Religion Greek Orthodox
Website http://www.voridis.gr

Mavroudis (Makis) Voridis (Greek: Μαυρουδής (Μάκης) Χρήστου Βορίδης) (born 23 August 1964) is a Greek lawyer, politician and former Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Networks. He is also the former leader of the Hellenic Front party.

Voridis graduated from Athens College and acquired his degree from the Law School of the University of Athens. He also acquired a Master of Laws with merit from University College London. Voridis specialized in international commercial law, penal law, and the philosophy of law. During his time there, he was a member of the fascist student group "Student Alternative". Voridis has denied any connection with far-right and has described himself as a national liberal[1]

According to a former fellow student at Athens College, writing in Israeli newspaper Haaretz, Voridis formed the fascist student group "Free Pupils" that painted the walls with swastikas and saluted each other using the Nazi-era greeting "Heil Hitler." It was further alleged that during school elections, Voridis would violently threaten the Jewish students who opposed his fascist group, as well as their families.[2]

After graduating from Athens College, he was appointed general secretary of the young wing of the National Political Union (EPEN),[3] a far-right political party founded by a year earlier by the jailed leader of the 1967 military coup and junta leader Georgios Papadopoulos. Voridis, who replaced Nikos Michaloliakos (who went on to lead Golden Dawn) as EPEN’s youth leader, remained in this position until 1990.

During his compulsory military service from 1992 to 1993, Voridis graduated class leader (92 A' ESSO) in Artillery School and he served as an Artillery Cadet Reserve Officer, gaining the rank of second lieutenant.

In 1994, he founded the far-right Hellenic Front party and became its first president. He unsuccessfully ran for the position of Athens mayor in 1998 and 2002. The Front's motto was "Red Card to the Illegal Immigrants", and he ran together with Konstantinos Plevris in the national elections of 2000.[4] The Hellenic Front under the chairmanship of Voridis performed lamentably in the 2004 general election and managed to gather only 7000 (0,1%) votes. As a result of this, the Hellenic Front ceased its political activity in 2005 and was subsequently merged with the more successful Popular Orthodox Rally (LAOS) party. Voridis became a member of the political council of LAOS.

Voridis has a law office in Athens and competed for a council seat in the 2006 local elections on the LAOS ticket in East Attica. He eventually secured 5% of the vote and was elected prefectural councillor.

On September 16, 2007, Makis Voridis was elected Member of the Greek Parliament with LAOS, calling up 8,663 votes in the Attica district, with a potential difference of 5174 votes from the second candidate, Tania Iakovidou, a TV journalist.

In November 2011, Voridis was appointed Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Networks in the coalition government headed by Lucas Papademos.[5] In February 2012, he was expelled from LAOS for supporting the latest austerity package but retained his portfolio after consultations with the prime minister.[6][7] A few days later, he joined New Democracy and surrendered his parliamentary seat to LAOS.[8][9] As Minister, Voridis was supposed to open up professions like taxi drivers, a measure he has previously opposed on multiple occasions.[10]

In an interview with The Guardian, Voridis denied allegations of crypto-fascism, antisemitism and homophobia, describing himself as a national liberal with a rightwing student activist background.[5] Voridis has also expressed views against illegal immigration[11][12] The article's author describes him as a former "axe-wielding fascist" who "does not deny he is a reconstructed fascist". His presence in government has been met with alarm by Jewish and leftist groups.[2][5]

On June 10th, 2014, Voridis was elected Minister of Health,[13] despite significant concern from Jewish and other groups. [14]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Μάκης Βορίδης, Ακροδεξιός εγώ; Απλώς εθνικοφιλελεύθερος". To Vima. 2010-09-12. Retrieved 2011-11-17. 
  2. ^ a b Sabby Mionis (2012-03-06). "Israel must fight to keep neo-Nazis out of Greece's government". Haaretz. Retrieved 2012-03-06. 
  3. ^ "http://www.theguardian.com/world/2011/dec/16/rise-greek-far-right-turmoil". Guardian. 2011-12-16. Retrieved 2014-06-09. 
  4. ^ "Greece's Jewish voters are faced with an impossible choice". Haaretz. 10 June 2012. Retrieved 11 June 2012. 
  5. ^ a b c Helena Smith (2011-12-16). "Rise of the Greek far right raises fears of further turmoil". The Guardian. Retrieved 2012-01-31. 
  6. ^ ""Ναι" στο Μνημόνιο από 199 βουλευτές και "όχι" από 74". To Vima (in Greek) (Athens). 13 February 2012. Retrieved 7 March 2012. 
  7. ^ "Χωρίς ανασχηματισμό η κυβέρνηση - Παραμένει ο Βορίδης". To Vima (in Greek) (Athens). 14 February 2012. Retrieved 7 March 2012. 
  8. ^ "Προσχώρησαν στη Ν.Δ. οι Μ. Βορίδης και Αδ. Γεωργιάδης". To Vima (in Greek) (Athens). 17 February 2012. Retrieved 7 March 2012. 
  9. ^ "Παρέδωσαν τις έδρες τους στο ΛΑΟΣ Μ. Βορίδης και Αδ. Γεωργιάδης". To Vima (in Greek) (Athens). 17 February 2012. Retrieved 7 March 2012. 
  10. ^ "Greece's government: Divided they stand". The Economist. 2011-11-16. Retrieved 2012-03-09. 
  11. ^ "Greek elections focus on immigration". 2000-04-06. Retrieved 2012-08-16. 
  12. ^ "The struggle for containers fuels the controversy between the green and the blue". 2012-04-25. Retrieved 2012-08-16. 
  13. ^ http://www.moh.gov.gr/articles/ministry/hgesia/1260-minister-of-health
  14. ^ http://www.jta.org/2014/06/09/news-opinion/world/greek-jews-rap-appointment-of-rightist-makis-voridis-as-health-minister

External links[edit]