Government spokesman Christos Tarantilis has resigned “for family reasons,” as he said in a letter to Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis.
He had been serving in his post since January 4.
Deputy spokeswoman Aristotelia Peloni will be acting government spokeswoman.
Even though Tarantilis made it clear the reason for his resignation was not political, the main opposition Syriza party tried to make political capital out of it by speculating that he resigned as a consequence of the case of Dimitris Lignadis, the former artistic director of the National Theater accused of multiple rapes of minors.
“Instead of (Culture Minister Lina) Mendoni, who clings to her post at a moment when all artists, people connected with culture and the vast majority of Greek society have revolted against her, outraged by the cover provided to Dimitris Lignadis, accused of pedophilia, we have the government spokesman resigning,” Syriza said in a statement.
“If (he chose to do so) shoowing the sensitivity missing from Mr. Mitsotakis and Ms. Mendoni, then, congratulations. But if it a question of th egovernment’s internal intrigues and who got saddled with the blame of covering for Lignadis, (the resignation) is of no concern to anybody,” Syriza added.
Tarantilis responded on his Facebok page:
“Realizing, unfortunately, that the opposition insists on interpreting my statement arbitrarily, trying to exploit it politically, I must state again – hopefully for the last time: my resignation is not due to political reasons,” said the former government spokesman.
“I remain faithful to the principles of (the ruling New Democracy party) and to Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, continuing, after all, to serve the party and its leader as a Member of Parliament and to work for our reform program. And I repeat categorically that I wanted to resign from the position of government spokesman solely for family reasons.
“I urge everyone to respect these reasons. We should all realize one day that political action develops at the same time and in parallel with our family life. And often, difficulties in one field adversely affect another.
“The management of such sensitive issues is the responsibility of each individual, but they must be respected by others. Because, otherwise, politics becomes a flattening invader in the private space of every citizen,” Tarantilis said.
Tarantilis, 47, an MP since 2019, is a professor of Management Science at the Department of Management Science & Technology of Athens University of Economics and Business (AUEB).