As the light at the end of the tunnel of the pandemic crisis is becoming more and more bright, in view of the developing colossal vaccination operation, the confidence of the Minister of Health, Vassilis Kikilias, keeps growing.
Everyone remembers that during the first wave of COVID-19, as the government was moving in uncharted waters, Vassilis Kikilias had disappeared, leaving the field clear for Sotiris Tsiodras and Nikos Hardalias.
Back then, in the spring of 2020, the questions arising in press offices, in political columns of newspapers and on websites, were as follows: “Has Mitsotakis demoted Vassilis Kikilias”, “Why does the competent minister never appear?”, “Will Sotiris Tsiodras replace him in the future? ». Today, even the most clueless ones realize that Kikilias was acting cunningly, playing by ear, understanding how and when silence is golden. Today, he has started coming out of his shell, appearing more and more often on television, while the polls are showing him to be the most popular and successful minister of the Mitsotakis government. Not even the scandal of the misleading NHPO (EODY) data was enough to overturn the poll results. Following a completely opposite direction, and while the second coronavirus wave in Greece is coming to an end, Sotiris Tsiodras, the proclaimed “hero” of the first phase of the pandemic, has practically disappeared. His political capital was quickly “burned off” and we will probably never see him in the position of Minister of Health. But what does Vassilis Kikilias have in mind, after all?
“Armies” of communication consultants
It is said that armies of communication consultants are working day and night in order to build his profile. Their influence is great, even on lifestyle magazines and websites and on socialite newspaper columns. There, of course, the communication experts of Vassilis Kikilias are promoting the image of the pregnant Jenny Balatsinou, while at the same time they have succeeded in gaining access even to opposition media, by carefully painting the picture of the “successful minister” who in due time will reap the fruits of the “nationwide effort”, having created the necessary political capital to deal with the pandemic crisis. Is all this nothing but vanity? The answer is no. As well-informed sources confirm, the actual purpose of the current Minister of Health is the following: To succeed Kyriakos Mitsotakis in the leadership of New Democracy.
Vassilis Kikilias expresses his belief that he will have strong allies in his incoming effort to achieve the highest goal, and he expresses this belief to people close to him. He is confident that he has the support of the Americans and that, when the time is right, he will capitalize on the close relationship he has been carefully building with the American Embassy for at least a decade.
The rumors that always precede cabinet reshuffles claim that Vassilis Kikilias, after the Ministry of Health, wants to move to the Ministry of National Defence. This desire is inextricably linked, in his mind, to the relationship he is said to have with foreign interests. According to backstage claims, powerful interests in the field of weapons systems have been pushing the scenario of Vassilis Kikilias moving to the (Greek) “Pentagon”, at this juncture when there is a literal race going on in the armaments programs, and when Turkey’s provocations against Greece are escalating, with the war cries becoming increasingly intense, thus rendering further military equipping of the country absolutely necessary.
What will happen, eventually? Information regarding the cabinet reshuffle, to which, as is evident, the prime minister will proceed at the beginning of the new year, states that Vassilis Kikilias will remain in his position, that is in the Ministry of Health. Concerning the Ministry of National Defence, Kyriakos Mitsotakis wants to keep peace of mind, something that would be impossible with Vassilis Kikilias implementing personal strategies in the Ministry, with interests that are beyond the influence of the Maximos Mansion, quite simply, it would be impossible with an autonomous set of interests that could, at any time, become a major problem for the government.
Kyriakos Mitsotakis, always according to the same information, is following very closely and knows first hand all the moves of his ambitious minister.
It is no coincidence that lately, there is a growing number of publications that refer to the frosty relations of the Maximos Mansion with Vassilis Kikilias. The Prime Minister is not fond of the contrast between the image of a government that wears out more and more every day and the image of a minister who lives his own success story.
The latter does not seem to be intimidated. He feels stronger than ever, being smug about leading the nationwide effort against the pandemic, having activated his powerful “communication arsenal”, watching the polls showing him at the top and considering that the rest of the “crown contenders” are “old horses” that don’t stand a chance of making it to the end of the race of succession.
Nevertheless, the communication specialists who work from dawn to dusk for Kikilias should warn him that no one plays with the Mitsotakis family. In any case, history has shown that whoever – from within New Democracy, of course- rushed to mess with the Mitsotakis family, in the end they… stumbled.