HomePress Release 2006Press Release February 200615-02-2006: Hand-over ceremony of the Ministry of Public Order

15-02-2006: Hand-over ceremony of the Ministry of Public Order


Athens, 15/02/2006


Today, at 10H30, the leadership hand-over ceremony of the Ministry of Public Order took place at the Pavlos Bakoyannis hall, in which the new Minister of Public Order Mr. Vyron Polydoras took the reins of the Ministry from the former Minister Mr. George Voulgarakis.

The Head of the National Intelligence Service, Ambassador Mr. Ioannis Korantis, the Chief of the Hellenic Police Force, Police Lieutenant General Mr. George Aggelakos, the Chief of the Fire Brigade, Police Lieutenant General Mr. Christos Smetis as well as other Ministry officials attended the ceremony.

The former Minister Mr. George Voulgarakis made the following statement while handing-over the post to Mr. Polydoras: ΄Dear colleague, Head of the NIS, Chiefs, Public Prosecutor, officers: allow me to call you ΄dear friends΄. I am using the word ΄friends΄ because this is truly what I feel. I remember the same ceremony taking place two years ago in this same hall, when I took over the Ministry. At that time I could not imagine how close I would come to all of you, with whom I had the great honor and joy to cooperate and be honored with your friendship.

First of all, I would like to warmly thank you all from the bottom of my heart. You have been good partners and you have protected me in many cases from possible mistakes I might have otherwise committed. Thank you for showing me a new road and a new angle to view each situation that I could not conceive until then as a politician. Thank you for showing me how can somebody be attached only to their duty, how can they keep fighting day and night, knowing no time limits, no working hours, holidays, away from their families. I have to tell you that these two years I had the honor of working with you and serving this country, I corrected a lot in myself. I had some extremely good but also difficult moments with you. Together we have been through many sad and stressful moments but we also had a lot of moments of joy.

I like to believe that my short stay in this Ministry was somehow helpful. And I also like to believe that we have made progress in achieving the goals we had set. Often people make a brief account in such cases. I shall not proceed to this step; Vyronas will do that at the end of the four-year term. According to my point of view, the work of a government is cumulative. I only wish to tell you that I will keep you all deep in my heart and I do mean that. Thank you all very much.΄

Then, the new Minister of Public Order, Mr. Vyron Polydoras made the following statement: ΄Mr. New Minister of Culture, Mr. Former Minister of Public Order with a successful mandate, Chiefs, Officers, ladies and gentlemen: let me first of all profit from this opportunity in order to express my gratitude to the Prime Minister for his trust in me, having assigned to me this crucial duty.

Secondly, it is an honor for me to succeed in this post George Voulgarakis, a significant political figure, a worthy colleague and a good Minister of Public Order who has served well his duties. Let us not just pronounce abstract words, but let us point out the substantial work already accomplished, such as the organization of the Athens 2004 Olympic Games in a secure environment, a product of the work of Mr. George Voulgarakis together with the Karamanlis Government and the cooperation between the Minister and the staff of the Ministry of Public Order.

Thirdly, let me tell you that the limits of our work are set by the Constitution and the Law. These are the components of the entity called ΄democratic legitimacy΄. At this point, I would like to point out that the prerequisite – and indeed, in large quantities – when in public affairs, is the will to be considerate, to make personal sacrifices and keep one΄s distance from personal matters. As of today, my new family will be the staff of the Ministry of Public Order. This will be my home. Furthermore, let me tell you that I have complete trust in all of you in our internal relations. I want the staff of the Ministry to know that they will find understanding, common way of thinking and trust in the face of Vyron Polydoras. We will organize our collective actions and our cooperation around only two pillars, worthiness and honesty. Let us all send this message to all the members of staff of the Ministry, starting from the Chiefs down to the simple employee.

I remember that the guidelines of management derive from our ancient Greek literature, where it is stated that a man rules people, a man does not rule forever. As to our mission, this shall be my first and last word.

I wish to agree on the necessary continuity of the state, as rightly pointed out by George Voulgarakis. I will continue along this line that we have so many reasons to honor. By taking this road, at the end we will be proud of the results we will have accomplished. We will be proud if we have achieved to increase the feeling of security of the people. The feeling of security is another word for describing the term ΄democracy΄. A political regime which does not guarantee the feeling of security under the umbrella of democratic legitimacy, constitutes a very watered down version of the real term ΄democracy΄. We wish to protect the pedestal on which democracy stands, so that the people can go along the road of progress and change taken by our government, in a state of security; then we shall all be able to face the future with optimism in a peaceful, democratic, secure and vivid society in Greece. This is the way I have chosen to come close to you and this is how we shall proceed from now on. Thank you all very much.

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