Germany Gets First Greek Mayor

Dimitris Axourgos at the swearing-in ceremony

Dimitris Axourgos, from Ioannina in north-western Greece has become the first Greek to become a mayor in Germany.

The 35-year-old teacher, an official candidate for the Social Democrats (SPD) won last Sunday’s local elections held in the town of Schwerte in North Rhine-Westphalia.

Axourgos, who left Greece at the age of five to join his parents who immigrated to Germany, won the elections on the first round with 56.3 percent of the vote. His opponent, who was supported by the Chancellor Angela Merkel’s CDU plus the Greens and Liberals (FDP), received only 29.8 percent.

After a brief ceremony at the local council Axourgos acknowledged that did not expect this result in the first round.

He vowed to work hard to win the trust of opponents and build bipartisan consensus on all issues affecting the city. “I want to work every day to earn that trust,” he said.

Axourgos studied history and social sciences at the University of Bochum. Since 2010 he has been teaching at the Friedrich-Bahrens High School.

He was always involved in local politics and was first elected as a municipal councilor at the age of 21.