In a major step toward inclusion, Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis of Greece appointed the country’s first-ever openly LGBTQ+ cabinet minister on Monday.
Nicholas Yatromanolakis, who previously served as the New General Secretary of Contemporary Culture, is now poised to become the country’s newest deputy minister of culture. He is a graduate of Panteion University in Athens as well as Harvard University, where he earned a Master’s in Public Policy. In 2019, he became the first LGBTQ+ ever seated in a senior government position, but now he’s seated in a much larger role.
“Every ministry has acquired a deputy ministry because the huge workload and multiple challenges demanded that they be strengthened,” government spokesman Christos Tarantilis told Greek Travel Pages.
Yatromanolakis is set to be sworn in today thanks to what the Associated Press is calling a “cabinet reshuffle” due to Greece’s struggles with responding to the Covid-19 pandemic. The country currently has the 65th highest rate of deaths from the coronavirus in the world, and its GDP reportedly dropped 10% during the first year of the outbreak, according to the AP.
Yatromanolakis has yet to issue a public statement regarding his appointment, but it’s more than likely to come after today’s swearing-in. He has been noted as being a vocal advocate of LGBTQ+ rights in person and online. Yatromanolakis has also been a proponent of mask-wearing and other public health tools for fighting the pandemic.
Some are hoping that Yatromanolakis’ appointment will be a bright spot in an otherwise struggling Greece. The chief economic adviser to Tsipras, Alex Patelis, expressed his excitement on Twitter, calling the appointment “a historic day for LGBTI+ representation and a big win for meritocracy and better decision-making through diversity.”
A historic day for LGBTI+ representation and a big win for meritocracy and better decision-making through diversity. Congrats to Nicholas Yatromanolakis for showing you can be yourself and still succeed. May others draw strength to live their life openly. https://t.co/jTA1E0Y8Eo
— Alex Patelis (@PatelisAlex) January 4, 2021
“Congrats to Nicholas Yatromanolakis for showing you can be yourself and still succeed,” tweeted Patelis. “May others draw strength to live their life openly.”