The merge of ministries followed the parliamentary elections on 25 January that were marked by the victory of leftist party Syriza and the creation of a two-party coalition government with the rightwing Independent Greeks party (ANEL)
The new ministry will oversee development and competitiveness, shipping and the Aegean, tourism and infrastructure, transport and networks.
Elena Kountoura from ANEL has been appointed Alternate Minister of Tourism and will take the helm from Olga Kefalogianni during a handover ceremony scheduled for tomorrow in Athens.
Elena Kountoura was born in Athens. She graduated in Science of Physical Education and Sports at the University of Athens and was for many years a member of the Greek National Team of Track and Field. She was the champion of Greece in the High Jump and 100m Hurdles and holder of numerous national records, as well as national and international titles and awards.
From 1984 to 1996 she had an international career in the fashion industry and until 2003 was the publisher for a magazine that focused on women and social issues.
Her political career began in 2004 when she was elected MP for the First District of Athens. She was later appointed on the state committee of Tourism and Health and Social Solidarity and also served as chairman of the Parliamentary Friendship Group, Greece – Korea.
On 12 February 2012 she disagreed with the policy of the New Democracy party and voted against the Memorandum and related laws. She was then ejected from the party by decision of Antonis Samaras.
She remained an independent MP and later with nine other deputies created the first Parliamentary Group of Movement “Independent Greeks”. As a member of Independent Greeks, she was elected first Member of Parliament for the District of Athens in the elections of 6 May 2012 and the repeat elections of 17 June 2012.
In the previous parliamentary period she was responsible for Parliamentary Accountability Tourism.
Kountoura also develops strong social and philanthropic activities in Greece and abroad.
She speaks French, English and Spanish.