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.