New Greek minister resigns amid tweet row

New deputy minister of Greece resigns amid row over antisemitic tweets less than day after appointment

Photo by: AFP
Photo by: AFP

Newly elected deputy minister of Greece resigned amid tweets row

Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Networks for the new Greek government, Dimitris Kammenos, resigned in less than 24-hours after being appointed due to his antisemitic and homophopic comments through his Twitter account.

"Setting the interest of our country as my primary goal, the smooth functioning of the new government and honoring the trust offered to me by the prime minister, I announce my resignation from the post of Deputy Minister of Infrastructure, Transport and Networks,” Kammenos said in a statement.

In one of his posts in June, the minister compared the European Union to the Nazi death camp at Auschwitz. He posted a picture of the gate to Auschwitz on his Facebook page and replaced the words “'Arbeit Macht Frei' [Work Sets You Free] written on the gate with 'We stay in Europe.'" 

On an earlier post, he claimed that Jews were behind the September 11 attacks to the World Trade Centre saying that "And let's not forget that among the 2,500 Jews working at the Twin Towers not one went to work that day."

The Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece called for protests over his allegations.

He denied the allegations of posting antisemitic and homophobic tweets, saying that his Twitter account had been hacked and alleged tweets falsified. He said he would lodge a lawsuit against the persons responsible for the slander and the police’s cybercrimes unit investigated his Twitter account, but “came up with nothing.”

His accounts were deactivated when Kammenos was appointed as deputy minister of the new cabinet government.

He apologised on Wednesday saying that "I categorically condemn racism, homophobia and anti-Semitism."

Kammenos, from the right-wing Independent Greeks Party, had been sworn into the cabinet of Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras earlier Wednesday. On the same day, he was asked to resign by the leader of Greek junior coailition party.

"Until the truth is clarified on anti-semitic and racist posts, the deputy minister will facilitate [the issue] with his resignation," said Panos Kammenos, the leader of the Independent Greeks party.

Greek media reported that Alexis Tsipras called his coalition partner Panos and asked him to investigate the truth of the posts.

MP from Independent Greeks Party, Panagiotis Sgouridis, will be appointed to the vacant post.

Left-wing Syriza party won the snap elections on Sunday with 35.5 percent of the vote. Leader of the left-wing Syriza party Tsipras returned to serve as the new prime minister of Greece after his resignation last month.

However, Syriza needed the support of Independent Greeks as junior coalition partner to form a majority. One of MP of Syriza condemned the appointment explaining her “dissappointment and indignation” and urged Tsipras to act immediately.


TRTWorld and agencies