Maria Vasilakou: The former deputy mayor of Vienna 2024-03-02 18:28:23

Together with two men, the Petro Kokkalis and the Lefteri PapagiannakiVasilakou created the party World, with which he aspires, for a start, to enter the European Parliament. “Petros Kokkalis is a Greek businessman, who until November held a seat in the European Parliament with the SYRIZA party,” Austrian media explain. Now, Kokkalis has joined the Green party.

Lefteris Papagiannakis once held the same position as Vassilakou, but in Athens. From 2016 to 2019 (during the mayorship, that is, of Giorgos Kamines), there was deputy mayor of Athensresponsible for immigration matters.

According to the “Kosmos” website, the three Greek politicians form the board of directors of the newly founded party. “Kokkalis is expected to be the experienced member of the party in terms of the European Parliament. Vasilakou can in turn bring her her political experience in the venture,” reports the Viennese newspaper Der Standard.

According to the party’s manifesto, its priority is “social ecology”, i.e. the creation of ideal conditions for the interaction of man with his environment. Among what the “Kosmos” politicians want to promote are a new, green deal for Europe, the transition to renewable energy sources by 2040, the creation of new jobs with fair wages, affordable housing and fair taxation of billionaires.

At the level of the European Parliament, “Kosmos” will join the European Green party. According to sources within the party, with whom Der Standard spoke, “Kosmos” already made a “blow” to the European Greens, at the last congress of their party at the beginning of February.

Who is the politician Maria Vasilakou – Relations with Greece and Austria

55-year-old Maria Vasilakou was born in Athens to Greek parents. Her mother was a goldsmith and her father a contractor. After completing her secondary education in Athens, Vasilakou went to Austria to study interpreting and linguistics.

Her involvement in politics began when Vasilakou was at University of Vienna, with Vasilakou involved in the Austrian Students’ Union. In 1996, Vassilaku entered the Vienna City Council with the Green Party and became the party’s spokesperson for the integration of refugees and immigrants.

In the 2001 elections, the politician came second in “crosses” on the green ballot. In 2005, she was elected as the leading candidate, with her party achieving 14.6% in local elections, their best ever. In 2009, Vasilakou was offered the position of Deputy Minister of Environment in Greece, by the government of George Papandreou, but she refused.

In 2010, it did the first “Green” deputy mayor of Vienna, taking over the newly established department for urban development, transport, climate protection, energy planning and citizen participation.

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In 2018, following “internal turmoil” in her party, Vasilakou announced her retirement from the political scene of Vienna.

According to Der Standard, Vasilakou’s major projects include the conversion of Mariahilfer Straße in Vienna into a pedestrian zone, as well as the establishment of annual ticket of 365 euros for public transport in the Austrian capital. After leaving politics, he worked as a consultant in the field of urban development and transformation. In 2019, he participated in a fifteen-member European Union research project on “climate neutral” cities.

As far as her personal life is concerned, Maria Vasilakou has been married since 1995 to the Austrian linguist and communication consultant, Bert Matusek. She holds both Greek and Austrian citizenship.

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