Greek Tourism Minister Elena Kountoura submitted her letter of resignation to Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras last week. She resigned to win a seat in the European Parliament.
Elena Kountoura was seen as one of the most active and outspoken tourism ministers in the world. She closely worked with Jamaica Minister Ed Bartlett and former UNWTO Secretary-General Taleb Rifai on the board for the Global Tourism Resilient Center.
In the letter of resignation, she warmly thanked the prime minister for the trust he has shown in her. “These European elections are very critical for Europe’s course and Greece’s voice must be heard more loudly. Our country should have a strong representation in the European Parliament, Kountoura stated.
2018 was the best year in the history of Greek Tourism. The arrival number including cruises counted for more than 33 million visitors. 4.4 million Germans went to Greece on holidays which was an increase of 18% from 2017.
“I will continue to work with the same passion as I did to make Greece a world champion in tourism… in order to make Greece a champion in Europe,” the former tourism minister said.
Thanasis Theocharopoulos, the president of the Democratic Left (DIMAR) party, has been appointed as the new tourism minister of Greece, the Tourism Ministry handover ceremony took place Monday.
Theocharopoulos is an Agriculturist M.Sc. and holds a Ph.D. in Agricultural Economics, from the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki. According to his bio, he has worked in various Greek and foreign universities and academic institutions, teaching courses in the fields of Agricultural Policy, Rural Development and European Integration.
Insiders don’t think the new minister will be on his post for a long time. Many think the upcoming election in Greece will go to the conservative party Neo Dimokrati, what would mean an end of the current coalition.