Health Minister Adonis Georgiadis has blamed SYRIZA supporters for heckling him during a tension-filled even at Imperial College in London.
Speaking on Monday morning, after his appearance at the university over the weekend, Georgiadis dismissed his critics as a small group of leftists amid a larger audience.
“There is a group of Greek students who study in London and transfer this despicable behavior [from Greece] abroad,” he told Skai radio.
Greek students and academic staff had made it clear before Georgiadis’s appearance that they were against Imperial College’s Hellenic Society inviting him to speak at the institution. They accused Georgiadis of implementing spending cuts that are damaging public healthcare.
“The Minister has repeatedly bullied doctors and medical staff on national television, putting the blame on them for the existing problems, while advertising the need for budget cuts,” the said in a statement.
They also accused Georgiadis of holding unacceptable views. “The rise of Mr. Georgiadis in Greek politics is a symptom of the authoritarian, far-right turn of the Greek government,” they said.
Georgiadis was booed and heckled as soon as he took to the stage. He yielded the floor and allowed Zoe Mavroudi, the director of a documentary called Ruins that examines the plight of HIV-positive sex workers who were publicly identified. Mavroudi detailed the difficulties faced by the Greek health system.
Later in the event, Georgiadis had a heated face-to-face confrontation with a student. He denied tugging the student from his lapel. The minister said that a photograph of the incident showed him handing over the microphone.