Minister for Citizen Protection Nikos Toskas submitted his resignation to Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras on Friday afternoon. “The natural disaster and the loss of so many lives go beyond his will to continue,” he said.
“I have tried all my life to offer to the defense and the protection of the country and its people,” Toskas who is a retired Lieutenant General added.
Tsipras accepted his resignation and posted on Twitter: “The bravery of a general is not measured at the time of a battle but also in the time of the review,” Tsipras wrote and thanked Toskas for his honesty and his devotion.
Η γενναιότητα ενός στρατηγού δεν μετριέται μόνο την ώρα της μάχης αλλά και την ώρα του απολογισμού. Ευχαριστώ θερμά τον Νίκο Τόσκα για την εντιμότητα και την αφοσίωση που επέδειξε κατά την εκτέλεση των καθηκόντων που του ανέθεσα.
— Prime Minister GR (@PrimeministerGR) August 3, 2018
Toskas’ duties will be transferred to Interior Minister Panos Skourletis.
At a press conference on July 26th, four days after the tragedy where 88 people lost their lives, Toskas revealed that he offered his resignation on July 24th. But at that time, the Prime Minister did not accept it.
The minister’s resignation did not satisfy the opposition parties.
“Toskas’ resignation is too little and too lateto satisfy the public sentiment,” main opposition conservative New Democracy said in a statement demanding the resignation of “Alexis Tsipras and the whole government.”
In the same style was also the comment of Movement of Change (PAOSK) that demanded Alexis Tsipras should resign.
“The minister’s resignation aims to diffuse the people’s indignation. Changing the minister does not solve the problems occurring from the lack of anti-fire measures, the funding shortages in forest protection and fire combating,” Communist KKE said.
“The man who was trying to but did not find any mistake for the death of 88 people resigned. Greeks paid a high price for his days in the ministry,” To Potami leader Stavors Theodorakis said in a tweet.
“I try but I don’t find big operational mistakes. The losses are big, the disastrous work of the fire lasted one and half hour,” Nikos Toskas had said during the press conference jointly held with other ministers as well as the chiefs of the Fire service and the Police.