Greece’s Economy and Development Minister Dimitris Papadimitriou on Monday night resigned from his post after his wife Rania Antonopoulou left her seat as Deputy Minister for Social Solidarity only hours earlier.
Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras accepted both resignations. As stated in a brief press release from the prime minister’s press office following Papadimitriou’s resignation, “Alexis Tsipras accepted the resignation of the Minister of Economy and Development and thanked him for his contribution.”
Both resignations were made on the grounds of public outcry after it was made known that Antonopoulou was receiving a rent allowance of €1,000 per month.
Both Antonopoulou and Papadimitriou have declared savings of millions of euros and possession of high-value real estate properties in New York, Athens and Syros.
Once the revelation that Antonopoulou was receiving a rent allowance was made, opposition parties issued statements criticizing the leftist government for giving such allowances to their rich cabinet members while slashing pensions and overtaxing citizens.
Rumors of cabinet reshuffle rekindled
Following the resignation of the two ministers and given the previous resignation of deputy education minister Kostas Zouraris, there are currently three empty spots in the cabinet, a fact that rekindles rumors of an imminent reshuffle in the government.
Zouraris had resigned in mid-January. At the same time, Deputy Minister for Migration Policy Yiannis Mouzalas is likely to be replaced as he is facing health problems that forced him to be hospitalized.
In total, four places in the cabinet are empty at the moment. It remains to be seen if the departed ministers will be replaced or a wider reshuffle will take place.