Greece on Monday confirmed that former Cypriot European humanitarian aid and crisis management commissioner Christos Stylianides will head the new climate crisis and civil protection ministry.
He will receive honourary Greek citizenship to make his appointment possible. He will be sworn in on Friday.
Stylianides thanked Prime Minister Kyriacos Mitsotakis, saying he is fully aware of the challenges and expectations.
“The effects of climate change have overtaken us, and we must accelerate the big changes without delay,” he said. “Prevention and preparedness against natural disasters is the most effective weapon we have.”
Stylianides, 63, was commissioner from 2014 until 2019.
He was elected as a Member of the European Parliament in the May 2014 European elections, where he served until October 31, 2014.
In 2014, he briefly served as the European Union’s Ebola Coordinator.
President Nicos Anastasiades congratulated Stylianides, wishing him success in his new duties.
Kαλή επιτυχία στον Χρήστο Στυλιανίδη @StylianidesEu, στα νέα του καθήκοντα ως υπουργός Πολιτικής Προστασίας της Ελληνικής Κυβέρνησης.
— Nicos Anastasiades (@AnastasiadesCY) September 6, 2021
Stylianides has a dentistry degree from Aristotle University in Thessaloniki and has completed an executive education programme in International Development at Harvard’s Kennedy School.
He also served as government spokesman under Glafcos Clerides in 1998-99, resigning in protest at the cabinet’s support of then-interior minister Dinos Michailides, suspected of corruption.
Michailides resigned two days later. He was later jailed in Greece after he was found guilty of corruption.
Stylianides also had another short stint as spokesman under current President Nicos Anastasiades, in 2013-14.