Former Minister and lawyer Dimitris Tsovolas has died at the age of 80.
Dimitris Tsovolas died on Friday afternoon, being intubated after suffering from cancer. His health condition had deteriorated recently.
He was born in 1942 in Melissourgoi, Arta coming from a poor family which in fact in the post-war years faced persecution due to its participation in the National Resistance and EAM during the Occupation.
He studied law at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki. He was the lawyer of the family of Alexandros Grigoropoulos after 2008. The Grigoropoulos case ended with the life sentence of the special guard Epamineondas Korkoneas. He was married to Katerina Gioti and has two children.
He was a founding member of PASOK and was first elected MP for Arta with PASOK in 1977, winning re-election in 1981 and again in 1985.
He remained in the Ministry of Finance during the first eight years of the government of Andreas Papandreou, as Deputy Minister (1981-1984), Deputy Minister (1984-1985), and Minister in the period 1985-1989. He was the most popular minister of Finance after 1974 and until this day he is associated with the popular policies he implemented.
Tsovolas was able to pursue a policy of public benefits only after 1987, when the Minister of National Economy, Costas Simitis, who had implemented the austerity stabilisation program since 1985, was removed from the government.
In May 1991 he was brought before the Special Court accused in the infamous Koskotas-Kalkani scandal and sentenced in January 1992 to two and a half years in prison with suspension and three years of stripping of his political rights, thus losing his parliamentary seat. After the victory of PASOK in the elections of October 1993, the Greek Parliament awarded him a pardon.
After his referral to the Special Court for the Koskotas case in 1989, the three-year deprivation of political rights imposed on Dimitris Tsovolas did not allow him to run for office in 1993, while he refused to participate, despite the grace granted to him, in the next governments of PASOK. In October 1995 he left the party’s Central Committee and on December 20 of the same year he founded the Democratic Social Movement (DIKKI).
The Democratic Social Movement (DIKKI) did well in the 1996 elections and entered Parliament. In the next electoral contests he could not gather the necessary votes to enter Parliament, but at the same time he continued his political activity. From 2004 onwards he had decided to leave politics and dealt exclusively in his profession of law.