By Penelope Galliou

A change of baton today in Piraeus between the outgoing Pavlos Marinakis and Maria Syregela, as the election of Mrs. Syregela as the new secretary of the ND Political Committee is formalized this afternoon.

It is a choice of the prime minister and president of the ND, Kyriakos Mitsotakis, with many messages about how he perceives the political development of his party but also how he envisions the “tomorrow” of the wider political scene of the country, with new faces, indestructible and with vision for the blue faction and the place.

The “burden” and the responsibility of the MP for the Western Sector of the Second Athens, Maria Syregela, become even “greater”, from the fact that she is called upon to replace the current secretary and at the same time government representative, Pavlos Marinakis, after the generally acknowledged successful term of him as secretary of the party, who will now devote himself entirely to his new government duties.

It is also a choice that demonstrates the decision to further open up to the new generation of executives, a model that was also applied in the case of the former president of ONNED.

After all, as the prime minister has already shown with his choices and in the new government structure, which he chose after the elections of June 2023, he is determined to give opportunities and “place” both to the new generation of executives and also to women. Moreover, he chose more women for the positions of ministers, deputy ministers and deputy ministers than in 2019, while many women were chosen to lead the General Secretariats.

Following these, it seems that for the party, the conditions have matured for the selection of a woman and for the position of ND Secretary, making her Maria Syregela the first woman to take on the relevant key party tasks, coming from the “bowels” of the ND and knowing very well the human geography of the blue party.

Maria Syregela was first elected as an MP in the parliamentary elections held in May and June 2023. However, she had previously served a successful ministerial term, from 2021 to 2023, as Deputy Minister of Labor and Social Affairs, responsible for family matters, where those in the know judged that he worked intensively, quietly and effectively, achieving the restructuring and updating of the entire institutional framework for dealing with domestic violence.

Ms. Syringela was also general secretary of Family Policy and Gender Equality from July 2019 to January 2021 and is vice-president of the Women of the European People’s Party (EPPWomen). He was vice president of KETHI (Equality Research Center) from 2013 until March 2015.

He was also vice-president of the YEPP (Youth of the European People’s Party), from 2001 to 2005, and a representative of the YEPP in the Western Balkan Democracy Initiative and the Southeastern European Forum, during the same period, while he was a member of the E.G. of ONNED, as head of International Relations, from 2001 to 2004 and in K.E. from 1998 to 2005.

Maria Syregela has served in key positions in both the private and public sectors, specializing mainly in human resources issues.

She is a graduate of the Faculty of Philosophy of the Kapodistrian University of Athens, with a master’s degree in Service Management for Executives of the Athens University of Economics and Diploma thesis in New Public Management Policy and Strategy. He knows English, French and Turkish.

Maria Syregela is married to Fotis Kyriakopoulos, a civil engineer, and the mother of two children, Vassilis and Konstantinos.

The new secretary in a post on social media thanked Kyriakos Mitsotakis for his honorary proposal and states: “I have been a member of this faction since my student years. I believed in DAP-NDFK’s vision for better universities, I served ONNED @onnedgr as a youth pioneer and as an executive of New Democracy @neademokratia I fought for more visibility of women’s issues, supporting the institution of the family. After the highly honorable proposal of Prime Minister and President of the ND Kyriakos Mitsotakis @kyriakos_ to be the next Secretary of the Political Committee I submitted my candidacy to the President of the electoral committee Mr. Ioannis Tragakis. A proposal that is a huge personal honor, but also a great responsibility, especially after the successful tenure of the current Secretary P.Marinakis @pavlosmarinakis.

The “broad and lively political faction” founded by Kon. Karamanlis continues, five decades later, to lead the country, not only with steady steps into the future, but through radical cuts in the state, which improve the life of the citizen. And we have a duty to continue this course.”