Former armed forces chief and ex Defense Minister under SYRIZA, Evangelos Apostolakis, has turned down the post of heading Greece’s new Civil Protection Ministry following a cabinet reshuffle announced on Tuesday, media report early afternoon.
Apostolakis’ appointment triggered an outrage with SYRIZA that criticized the conservative Prime Minister that he attempted an under the table so-called “co-governance” with the left-wing.
Note that government sources told media that with Apostolakis’ appointment there were efforts for a cross-party appointment and that SYRIZA and KINAL were informed in advance.
In a statement two hours after the government spokesman announced the new ministers’ names, Apostolakis announced that he will not accept the post. He added that he thought his appointment was in consent with SYRIZA.
Speaking to OPEN TV, Apostolakis said that under these circumstances, that is no cross party consent, he cannot accept the appointment.
The 64-year-old retired admiral reportedly said that he had informed the left-wing party when he received his appointment call by the PM’s office. It looks as if SYR was against from the very beginning.
According to some media, before announcing that he turns down the post, Apostolakis is said to have called Alexis Tsipras and told him that “they set a trap, they told me there was consent. I understand from your reaction that there is no consent.”
He was to head the new ministry of Civil Protection and Crisis Management with jurisdiction, among others, of the Fire Service.
Apostolakis had served as defense minister under the SYRIZA government from January until July 2019, when the party lost the elections to conservative New Democracy.
According to latest media information, the Fire Service remains in the Ministry for Citizen Protection and the Civil protection is run by the secretary general of Civil Protection until a new minister is appointed.
Furious about the reshuffle flop, the government called the ex head of Greek Armed Forces a… coward!
“Mr. Apostolakis proved that he is not up to the task. He showed cowardice in the face of Syriza’s threats. He yielded to the party and withdrew from the call to serve his country. A shame for his legacy.”