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Wednesday, 08 April 2020

Greek economy and development minister steps down

AP , Tuesday 27 Feb 2018
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Greece's economy and development minister resigned Tuesday, shortly after his wife, a junior cabinet minister, also stepped down over a rent allowance scandal.

Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras accepted the resignation of Dimitri Papadimitriou, the prime minister's office said.

No replacement was announced for the 71-year-old U.S.-educated economics professor, who made no public statements.

The resignations dealt a considerable blow to Tsipras' left-led government, which has invested much political capital in accusing conservative and socialist opposition parties of graft, cavalier treatment of the crisis-mired country's public finances and nepotism.

While the couple — among the wealthiest cabinet members — were legally entitled to the allowance, their application for it is seen as morally questionable in a bailout-dependent country with 21 percent unemployment.

On Monday, Papadimitriou's wife, deputy labor minister Rania Antonopoulou, quit over the 1,000-euro ($1,200) monthly allowance for her Athens home. She declared an annual household income of more than half a million dollars.

This followed weekend reports revealing that that she received aid worth a total 23,000 euros ($28,300) over two years, even though she had an extensive property portfolio.

The government says it plans to abolish the housing subsidy for Cabinet members who are not members of parliament.

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