Ruling New Democracy officially withdrew its support to Attica Regional Governor Giorgos Patoulis on Monday morning. Ahead of the local elections in October, the press office of ND announced the deputy Defense Minister, Nikos Hardalias, as its candidate.
Reason for Patoulis’ support withdrawal was a short video showing him relaxing and dancing zeibekiko amid the wildfires that devastated central Greece last week.
A furry broke out once the video was uploaded on social media, with thousands demanding his resignation.
Τhe next day, Patoulis apologized with a post on social media blaming the “κακιά ώρα”, – malicious hour-, is an expression used broadly by Greeks to avoid human responsibility and blame a kind of superstitious conspiracy by the universe.He also indirectly out part of the blamed to members of a group of Greek Diaspora women who organized the fiesta in Zappeio Megaron.
“Yesterday I attended an event for expatriate women, organized at the Zappeion Megaro.
Towards the end of this event and shortly before my departure, some of the attendees asked me to honor their event with a dance, and I completely mistakenly, as I have to admit in retrospect, responded positively to their invitation.
It was a bad moment, for which I sincerely want to apologize,” Patoulis wrote among others, adding “Yesterday I made a mistake and I apologize if, in a difficult situation for our country, I sent the wrong message with a momentary act.”
Χτες παρευρέθηκα σε μια εκδήλωση γυναικών της ομογένειας, που διοργανώθηκε στο Ζάππειο Μέγαρο.
Προς το τέλος της εκδήλωσης αυτής και λίγο πριν την αποχώρηση μου, κάποιες από τις παρευρισκόμενες μου ζήτησαν να τιμήσω την εκδήλωση τους με ένα χορό, κι εγώ εντελώς λανθασμένα, όπως…
— Giorgos Patoulis (@gpatoulis) July 28, 2023
Patoulis’s apology appeared on the day the Minister of Citizens’ Protection Notis Mitarakis had to resign after it was revealed that he had a 2-day island vacations also amid the wildfires last week.
Later on Monday Patoulis announced that he won’t be a candidate for th Regional Governor post in October elections and that he follows his party decisions.
Patoulis is also President of the Attica Doctors’ Association.
It is not known whether he will still be a candidate for the post in October as he already had formed his team even with PASOK members.
Note that in a country where voters follow proposals of their favorite party also in local/regional elections an independent candidate has to present solid and effective work in previous years and a promising plan for the future.
On his part, his future successor Nikos Hardalias interrupted on Monday his tour to military camps across the country aiming at the upgrade of fire safety protocols after the ammunition explosions in a depot f the 111 Combat Wing air base in Nea Anchialos, central Greece, on July 27.
PS Crucial plans postponed because the candidate had to return to Athens for …consultations?