Panos Kammenos

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Panos Kammenos
MP
Πάνος Καμμένος
Discours de Panos Kammenos (cropped).jpg
Minister of National Defence
Incumbent
Assumed office
27 January 2015
Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras
Preceded by Nikos Dendias
President of Independent Greeks
Incumbent
Assumed office
24 February 2012
Personal details
Born Panagiotis Kammenos[1]
(1965-05-12) 12 May 1965 (age 49)
Athens, Greece
Political party New Democracy
(1993-2012)
Independent Greeks
(2012-present)
Spouse(s) Eleni Tzouli
Children 5
Alma mater University of Lyon
Profession Economist
Religion Greek Orthodox

Panagiotis "Panos" Kammenos (Greek: Πάνος Καμμένος; born May 12, 1965) is a Greek politician and founder of the right-wing anti-austerity party "Independent Greeks", which formed the governing coalition of the Hellenic Parliament with the Syriza Party after Kammenos met with Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, on January 26, 2015.[2] He was named Greece's Minister of National Defence on 27 January 2015.[3]

Early life and career[edit]

He studied economics and psychology at the University of Lyon Business Administration School of Managers. In 1993, he was first elected Member of Parliament in the New Democracy in the Second District of Athens.[1]

Independent Greeks party[edit]

On February 24, 2012, through his personal social networking sites, Kammenos announced the establishment of the new party called "Independent Greeks (ANEL)"[4] and published the Declaration.[5] Yiannis Manolis directly expressed its intention to join the new party format. He expressed support for Elena Kountoura, Panagiotis Melas and other MPs.

He wants to eliminate a large part of Greece's debt, which is equivalent to 175 per cent of the country's gross domestic product.[6]

Kammenos and the Independent Greeks take a hardline stance against illegal immigration into Greece.[7]

The Independent Greeks and Kammenos are Eurosceptics.[8] He has walked the halls of Greek Parliament wearing a T-shirt that said, "Greece is not for sale."[9]

Institute of Geopolitical Studies[edit]

Kammenos co-founded with his friend, University of Thrace professor Filippos Tsalidis, Athens-based Institute of Geopolitical Studies. In November 2014 Institute signed a "memorandum of understanding" with the Russian Institute for Strategic Studies (RISI). RISI was part of Russia's Foreign Intelligence Service until it was brought under the office of the Russian president in 2009. [10]

Awards[edit]

He has been honored with the Grand Cross of Merit from the Czech Patriarchate, the Medal of Honor from the Patriarchate of Jerusalem and the Order of Knight of the National Order of Merit by the President of France Nicolas Sarkozy. In 2007, he was appointed Deputy Minister of Mercantile Marine, Aegean and Island Policy in the government of Kostas Karamanlis, Minister and politician where the head was Georgios Voulgarakis. He was sometimes involved as an expert mediator and an official observer in elections in foreign countries.

Controversies[edit]

Kammenos has stated that "Europe is governed by German neo-Nazis".[8] He has also called German Minister of Finance Wolfgang Schäuble a persona non grata because of war reparations that Kammenos demands from Germany.[11]

In December 2014, Kammenos claimed on television that Greek Jews don't pay taxes. The remark was condemned by Greece's Jewish community and government officials, who called it "conspiracy theories, lies and slander”.[12]

In March 2015 Kammenos said that "If they deal a blow to Greece, then they should know Greece will suspend the Dublin II treaty, and migrants will get their ID and documents and will travel to Berlin". He also stated that "If Europe leaves us in the crisis, we will flood it with migrants, and it will be even worse for Berlin if in that wave of millions of economic migrants there will be some jihadists of the Islamic State too” and threatened that Greece would "give to migrants from everywhere the documents they need to travel in the Schengen area."[13][14]

Personal life[edit]

Kammenos is described as "a devout Orthodox Christian."[15]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Panagiotis (Panos) Kammenos". Athens: Hellenic Parliament. Retrieved 27 January 2015. 
  2. ^ Alderman, Liz (January 26, 2015). "After Victory at Greek Polls, Alexis Tsipras Is Sworn In and Forms Coalition Government". New York Times (New York). Retrieved January 26, 2015. 
  3. ^ "Greek cabinet unveiled, Varoufakis confirmed finance minister". Reuters (London). 27 January 2015. Retrieved 27 January 2015. 
  4. ^ Dearden, Lizzie (26 January 2015). "Independent Greeks: Who are Syriza's right-wing coalition partners and what do they want?". The Independent (London). Retrieved 26 January 2015. 
  5. ^ "Independent MP announces new party". Athens News. 24 February 2012. Retrieved 18 March 2012. 
  6. ^ Squires, Nick (26 Jan 2015). "Greek election: who are Independent Greeks?". The Daily Telegraph (London). Retrieved 26 Jan 2015. 
  7. ^ "Right-wing party promises Syriza support in Greece coalition". Deutsche Welle (Berlin/Bonn). 26 January 2015. Retrieved 26 January 2015. 
  8. ^ a b Smith, Helena; Ian Traynor (27 January 2015). "Greek PM Alexis Tsipras unveils cabinet of mavericks and visionaries". The Guardian. Retrieved 27 January 2015. 
  9. ^ Duperry, Odile (27 January 2015). "Kammenos: from conservative rebel to Greek PM's unlikely ally". Agence France-Presse (Paris). Retrieved 28 January 2015. 
  10. ^ Coalson, Robert (28 January 2015). "New Greek Government Has Deep, Long-Standing Ties With Russian 'Fascist' Dugin". Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty. Retrieved 16 April 2015. 
  11. ^ Smith, Helena (18 July 2013). "Security tight in Greece as German finance minister Schäuble arrives". Business Insider. Retrieved 9 March 2015. 
  12. ^ "Politician who said Jews don't pay tax appointed as Greece's defense chief". Haaretz. 29 January 2015. Retrieved 13 March 2015. 
  13. ^ "Greece's warnings of a 'migrant flood' faces backlash from Europe". Ethnos. Retrieved 15 March 2015. 
  14. ^ Greece's defence minister threatens to send migrants including jihadists to Western Europe by Bruno Waterfield, The Daily Telegraph, March 9, 2015.
  15. ^ "Greece and geopolitics: A semi-guided missile". The Economist. 28 Feb 2015. Retrieved 7 March 2015. 

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Nikos Dendias
Minister of National Defence
since 27 January 2015
Incumbent