The government on Thursday defended its decision to appoint the father of a prominent minister and close friend of Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras to the helm of a state transport organization, rebuffing accusations of corruption and nepotism from across the political spectrum.
In a statement, Tsipras’s office accused the main conservative opposition New Democracy of attacking Stelios Pappas, father of Digital Policy Minister Nikos Pappas, “in an unethical and slanderous way,” declaring that the former’s political experience and career was “light years away from that of the apparatchiks that its governments were accustomed to appointing.”
Echoing Wednesday’s announcement of Pappas’s appointment to the helm of the Thessaloniki Urban Transport Organization (OASTH) by Transport Minister Christos Spirtzis, Tsipras’s office said Pappas would spearhead an attempt to purge the organization which it accused ND and PASOK of mismanaging during their stints in power.
Earlier in the day, ND had issued a sarcastic response to news of the appointment. “We are sure that, of the hundreds of CVs submitted for the job of president of OASTH, Mr Pappas’s was the best,” the statement said.
Pappas’s appointment sparked a storm of protest on social media, with critics accusing leftist SYRIZA, which came to power on a pledge to fight graft and corruption in the public sector, of hypocrisy.