2nd Greek minister steps down over rent allowance payments

ATHENS, Greece (AP) — 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.

Free News Delivery by Email

Would you like to have the day's news stories delivered right to your inbox every evening? Enter your email below to start!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.