Space chief resigns over agency's ‘subservient’ role to politics

TAGS: Science

Distinguished Greek-American scientist Stamatios Krimigis has resigned as director of Greece’s newly established Hellenic Space Agency (HSA) just weeks into his tenure, it emerged on Wednesday.

In a lengthy letter dated April 16 and outlining the reasons for his decision, the head emeritus of the Space Department Applied Physics Laboratory at Johns Hopkins University in the United States accused Telecommunications Minister Nikos Pappas of making decisions that “effectively annulled the HSA’s entire purpose and rendered it an unreliable bureaucratic structure that could become subservient to any political chief.”

Krimigis went on to criticize the general secretary for telecommunications, Vassilis Manglaras, as a “space tzar” who sought to undermine the agency chief’s authority from the onset, “with the minister’s tolerance,” and even though he has “no knowledge or experience in this field.”

“It is my belief that there is a concerted effort to manipulate HSA toward specific goals,” Krimigis added.