The confirmation ceremony of the new members of the Government of the President of the Republic Mr. Nikos Christodoulidis took place today at the Presidential Palace.
In the morning, the new Ministers and Deputy Ministers gave the statutory assurance before the President of the Republic, while three Commissioners received their appointment.
The new Ministers are:
- Foreign Minister Konstantinos Kombos
- Minister of Finance Makis Keravnos
- Minister of the Interior Konstantinos Ioannou
- Minister of Defense Michalis Giorgallas
- Minister of Education, Sports and Youth Athina Michailidou
- Minister of Transport, Communications and Works Alexis Vafeadis
- Minister of Energy, Trade and Industry Giorgos Papanastasiou
- Minister of Agriculture, Rural Development and Environment Petros Xenophontos
- Minister of Labor and Social Insurance Yannis Panagiotou
- Minister of Justice and Public Order Anna Prokopiou
- Minister of Health Popi Kanaris
Government Spokesman Konstantinos Letympiotis
The new Deputy Ministers are:
- Deputy Minister to the President – Responsible for the coordination and supervision of the implementation of the Government Project Irini Piki
- Deputy Minister of Shipping in addition to the President Marina Hatzimanoli
- Deputy Minister of Tourism despite the President Kostas Koumis
- Deputy Minister of Research, Innovation and Digital Policy despite the President Philippos Hadjizacharia
- Deputy Minister of Social Welfare despite the President Marilena Evangelou
- Deputy Minister of Culture despite the President Michalis Hatzigiannis
The new Commissioners are:
- Commissioner for Gender Equality Jozis Christodoulou
- Environment Commissioner Maria Panagiotou
Their appointment was also received by:
- Director of the Office of the President of the Republic Charalambos Charalambous
- Deputy Government Representative Doxa Komodromou
- Director of the Press Office of the President of the Republic Viktoros Papadopoulos
Speaking during the ceremony, the President of the Republic said that "before any other report, I would like to express my shock over the fatal train accident in Greece. Our thoughts are with the families of the victims. In a little while I will also speak with the Greek Prime Minister to convey the condolences of the Government and of course the Cypriot people.
Proceeding yesterday with the statutory assurance before the House of Representatives of the Republic of Cyprus and after the formality as provided by the Constitution of receiving the presidency from the outgoing President Nicos Anastasiades, it is with great pleasure that I welcome you today to the Presidential Palace for the official first of the new administration in which the Cypriot people confidently placed their hopes.
I stated yesterday and I want to repeat it today as well, my readiness to take over the government of the country, expressing full awareness of the necessary absolute devotion on my part to the state, its institutions, the citizens and the wider public interest, based on the provisions of the Constitution of the Republic of Cyprus and the applicable Laws. I stated that I am fully aware of the heavy historical responsibility which I undertake with pride, awe and determination.
All this, with due rigour, I also expect from all of you, my closest collaborators who today undertake the high tasks for our country.
Having the supreme honor to be the head of the executive power, I want to repeat before you that I will do everything to be an example of hard work, ethics, dedication, expecting from each of you who voluntarily and consciously undertake today, to follow the same road
Our guide and compass are always the Constitution of the Republic of Cyprus, the laws in force and the international treaties that bind us, which you must constantly study.
I expect that you will all always act within the framework of legality, with absolute respect for the Constitution and the laws, serving the interest of Cyprus and the citizen. Your self-interest should be put aside while performing your duties. Our respect for the sovereign Cypriot people, for the one who elected us, who placed their hopes in us, who justifiably has many expectations from our government, will be demonstrated only through dedication to our work, so that in a short period of time it is produced project which will improve the citizen's life in all key areas.
In front of the House of Representatives yesterday, but also the entire Cypriot people, I also expressed my sincere political will to work hard to give hope and perspective to the entire Cypriot people. Not only because it deserves it but also because this will strengthen our statehood, this will indirectly but decisively strengthen Cyprus in all major claims.
For this reason and at the center of our priorities, man and his well-being have been placed, and today, in your official first, I ask you to embrace the political priorities and specific proposals, as they were included in our Program, to make them your property, immediately start the implementation strategy and move on to work that will deliver the project.
With good management, justice and determination, utilize the competent human resources that the Cypriot public service has and I have no doubt that we will achieve all the goals we have set.
The Governance Program that we formed together with society includes specific proposals concerning everyday life, which you are now called upon to implement under my own guidance and support: For the short relief of our fellow citizens with targeted economic measures, for the resolution of important labor issues that are pending in order to preserve labor peace, to solve problems in education, for corrective actions in the health sector, always within the framework of the NHS, for the regeneration of the primary sector in our country, for the acceleration of the digital transformation and technological upgrading of Public Service, for the promotion of culture, arts and letters, for a more citizen-friendly public administration.
Appointing you today to your high duties, I show you the same confidence that the Cypriot people showed in me with their vote. I emphasize before you again that all our policies are centered on the human being and the wider public interest and that throughout your time in office you should be productive, active, dedicated, the first of the first in hard work and ethics , always loyal to the Constitution and the laws.
I expect and demand from you what I demand from myself. We are here to produce work for Cyprus, so that when we hand over at the end of our term, we leave the Cypriot people with tangible positive results.
I urge you never to forget that the power you have is temporary and comes from the people for the sole purpose of benefiting the many and not the few.
Methodically implementing our program, always remember that the success of one is the success of all and the failure of any one will affect the entire Government, the President and the people.
Remember we are here to move our country forward and not to fill firefighting gaps and omissions. This is why any corrective actions must be preceded by the methodical and consistent implementation strategy of our program.
You have been selected to serve our country, each and every one of you from your assigned portfolio, based on your knowledge, experience, abilities and my strong belief that you can successfully fulfill your duties.
I invite you to make a decisive contribution so that we can put into practice everything we promised to the Cypriot people, to whom we will be accountable every day and who in the end will evaluate us all. There is no grace period for any of us. This I want you to know very well, and I am sure that every day we will be severely judged. This is already being done, even before assuming our duties, and should in no way be approached negatively. Personally, and I invite you to do the same, the harsh criticism from day one is an indication of the high expectations of society at large for our own governance. It is up to us to prove that, yes, we can successfully respond. So seek criticism, both well-intentioned and for other reasons, and know well that we will be judged by the result of our work and nothing else. Our obligations are to the entire Cypriot people, and no one else. Our goal is to honor the social contract we signed with society.
It is at the same time very important to have your doors open to citizens, to listen to their needs and wishes. To continue the public consultation started during the election campaign.
There are no easy solutions and magic wands. Nevertheless, with determination, hard work, consistency, methodicality and perseverance we can take our country forward. It requires constant effort, study, organization and method.
I invite you to be practical and efficient, always within the framework of the law. I invite you to be honest and fair. Become servants of meritocracy. I repeat, remember that we will all be judged by the outcome. When we are gone, our only success will be whatever work we manage to leave behind that is beneficial to the citizen, to the many and not to the few.
It is extremely important that each and every one of you earns the trust of the citizens. This will only happen if your work produces tangible beneficial work and if you govern politically with transparency, control and accountability.
Raise the moral bar high while keeping the tones down. We are not here to serve any personal ambition or interest. These should be set aside as of today.
Mismanagement, cases of corruption and incompetence will not be tolerated. I want this to be clear to everyone. None of us are above the law. All of us, and I put myself above all, must be, I said it at the beginning, I repeat it, the living example, the positive model for partners and citizens, for society.
I ask you to do your daily evaluation and self-criticism, to reward the most capable, to be fair to all staff and open to society, and to be ready if you realize that for any reason you cannot meet your very demanding tasks or you have fallen in an important and injurious error to our country, to submit your resignation to me before I even have to ask it of you. Because it must be well established in the consciousness of everyone who takes part in the commons and especially in the decision-making process that affects the public interest that their own inadequacy to perform, equals a heavy cost to the citizen and the country, and for this reason they should to know the limits and the time of their exit.
In this effort to implement our program for Cyprus, as we have envisioned it, we rely on cooperation with institutions, with independent officials, with social partners, professionals, Non-Governmental Organizations and with the whole of society the citizens. I want to emphasize the need for good cooperation with the House of Representatives and the political parties.
As I mentioned yesterday at the confirmation ceremony, the House of Representatives must be our greatest ally in this effort, so both you and I must constantly maintain bridges of communication and productive cooperation.
Let me also make a special mention of the civil service, which is the backbone of the executive branch, our support in this endeavour, the mechanism through which we will implement our Governance Programme. I call on you to be strict but at the same time correct and meritorious with all public officials at all levels. There are worthy human resources, you must take care to inspire and harness them, being their mentors, their worthy political superiors. Always keep in mind the codes of conduct, the equal treatment of men and women, the special treatment of people with disabilities, and the right of each person to respect their personality.
Many times during the election campaign, I repeated that in my vision for Cyprus all Cypriots are equal, all have the same rights, the same obligations. This promise must become a way of life. We will be a Government of all Cypriots, without any discrimination whatsoever. Break establishments and perceptions that the state is here to serve only some. Favoritism will not be tolerated no matter who it affects.
We may not, as I mentioned above, have magic wands for immediate solutions, but we do have the honest political will, program and planning. I am sure that all of you have the hard work, the morals, and know the modern methods for implementing policies. Work as a team, without big mouths, with deeds and not words.
Always remember that we have a responsibility at every moment to strengthen our state. For his safety. We have a responsibility for a prosperous Cyprus, for all its citizens. We have a responsibility to create for our young people the future they deserve. In order to be able to repay at least the trust that the Cypriot citizen has shown in us, we should "love the responsibility" even if we are left alone in the pursuit of our goals.
I gave yesterday, in front of the House of Representatives, the assurance that I will proceed with only the public interest, Cyprus, our wonderful homeland and I will be the President of all Cypriots. I invite you to do exactly the same so that together we can become the strong team that will take Cyprus into the new era.
May we all have good successes, a worthy and productive tenure. Thank you very much".
On behalf of the new members of the Government, the Minister of Foreign Affairs said that "Your Excellency Mr. President of the Republic of Cyprus, first of all let us express our support to the Greek people and our condolences for the recent tragic event.
On behalf of the members of the Council of Ministers, I express our grateful thanks for the extraordinary honor you do us.
We assure you that we are fully aware of the task you are assigning us today. We must work tirelessly each of us in our areas of competence with an open mind, steadfast commitment and collegiality for the public interest.
We have to be accountable not only to you but also to the place and the citizens. Society's expectations are huge and the governance program of the President of the Republic will be a signpost.
We also give the constitutionally stipulated assurance for the reunification of our homeland, which cannot wait any longer. We are aware of the weight of our mission, accompanied by a real and deep concern about whether we will be able to cope. If we did not have this concern I honestly believe we should not be here today. Many words do not suit the moment. It's project time. Good start".
After the ceremony, the President of the Republic, flanked by the members of the Government, laid a wreath on the statue of the National Archer Makarios III, in the forecourt of the Presidential Palace and then the President and the members of the new Government took a commemorative photo at the entrance of the Palace. A short meeting of the new Council of Ministers was then held.