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Economy Minister Papadimitriou resigns over rental subsidy

Economy Minister, Dimitris Papadimitriou, submitted his resignation late Monday night, just hours after Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras removed his wife, Alternate Labor Minister, Rania Antonopoulou, from the cabinet over the rental subsidy.

In his letter, Papadimitriou wrote he resigns for “reasons of political sensitivity.”

Tsipras accepted the resignation short after midnight.

That fact that wealthy Antonopoulou has been receiving 12,000 euros per year as rental subsidy, a political and social outcry broke out and did not calmed down even after the prime minister fired Antonopoulou Monday afternoon.

It was also members of the coalition government asked that her husband, the Economy Minister, must go as well.

Although the prime minister’s office keeps its cards covered for the time being, a government reshuffle is considered as imminent.

With Papadimitriou, Antonopoulou and Zouraris (deputy Education Minister; resigned in Jan) there are currently three ministerial posts empty.

It seems, however, that another important development is about to take place: cut benefits for lawmakers. It was interesting to watch this morning, journalists of state ERT TV which is very close to the government,  talking about “MPs earn too much money, have much to many benefits.”

They receive 900 euros per month for mail expenditure, for mail stamps, although the majority of correspondence it is done via e-mail,” a journalist said adding that what MPs earn per month is 5,135 euros net.”

“…In a country where 30-35 years old earn less than 500 euros,” another journalist added.

The provision for extra benefits to MPs was introduced decades ago when it was forbidden for lawmakers to have an additional job. But this was also cancelled years ago. However, the benefits remained.

  • Working for democracy is a a every expensive issue in a debt-ridden country with financially drained citizens.

Irony of the whole issue: Antonopoulou was Minister for Social Solidarity and Unemployment…

Sadly, we have to have reached bottom after 8 years of austerity program to initiate ‘reforms’ and restore injustices within the Greek society.

One of SYRIZA reforms could be also to stop appoint couples at ministerial posts.

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