The fact that a young person takes up significant institutional responsibilities such as the position of a Prefect is undoubtedly a positive development, which I welcome. The new Prefect of Central Macedonia Apostolis Tzitzikostas is only 35 years old and represents an entire generation. Therefore, the stakes are higher and they also have a wider political significance.
The succession of Panagiotis Psomiadis¹ is neither simple nor easy. Regardless of whether one agrees or disagrees with him, Psomiadis could have been currently utilizing his electoral appeal in Northern Greece to have established a new party which under certain conditions could be stronger than the party of Mr. Kammenos, the Independent Greeks.
Consequently, the success of Apostolis Tzitzikostas will not come because he is his father’s son (his father served as MP of Thessaloniki and deputy minister of former New Democracy government) nor because his mother is a very active woman. His success will be the result of two factors: hard work and clear political positions.
Regarding the first, when I met Apostolis during his studies in Washington he had huge ambitions which far exceeded his availability for real work. Today, several friends tell me that he has matured and that he can now balance between ambition and hard work. If that is the case then it will be for the best.
With regard to political positions, Apostolis Tzitzikostas will have to answer five key questions:
1. Does he agree with New Democracy’s policy of implementation of ever more new measures?
2. What is his view on the image of the Thessaloniki sea shore?
3. What is his opinion about the fate of the Thessaloniki International Trade Fair?
4. Will Thessaloniki ever have underground transportation?
5. What is his opinion regarding the works implemented during the time Vassilis Papageorgopoulos was in office as Mayor of Thessaloniki?
In a year and a half from now regional and local elections will take place. The political year in Thessaloniki is different from that of Athens, since it flows at a slower pace. However, this should not be a reason for the new regional governor to be complacent, because the answers to the abovementioned questions will determine his political future and will also show what we can expect from a new political generation which is slowly rising to the forefront.
Personally, I would like to wish him every success and and to assure him that the columns of this blog will be available to him to the extent that the he wishes to provide the answers needed. But, I can also assure him that the blog will be opposite of him if necessary.
PS: Boutaris and Tzitzikostas both belong to the “bourgeoisie” of Thessaloniki. However, “good manners” alone cannot guarantee “peaceful coexistence”. Sooner or later, the game will begin …starting with jurisdictions and responsibilities!
1. Panagiotis Psomiadis is a Greek politician from northern Greece, Macedonia. He is former MP of the liberal party of New Democracy well known for far right political positions. He was also Prefect of Central Macedonia and was suspended due to his involvement in financial scandals.