Father of public sector meritocracy dies

Former minister and deputy Anastasios Peponis, one of governing PASOK?s most respected figures, died on Monday at the age of 87.

The center-left politician had been suffering from heart problems for years and died in hospital.

He was among the close associates of Socialist Prime Minister Andreas Papandreou, who was prime minister of Greece from 1981 to 1989 and from 1993 to 1996. Peponis served in five different ministries, including those of Justice, Health and Industry. He was a PASOK deputy from 1977 to 2000.

He also had a significant role in the fight against the military junta from 1967 to 1974, was arrested five time and served some time in prison for his activism.

Peponis will be mostly remembered for his pioneering work in Greek broadcasting, as he set up the country?s first experimental television station as director of the state broadcaster in the mid-1960s, and for the 1994 law for hiring civil servants that was deemed a point of reference in terms of meritocracy.

However, he resigned in late 1994 from his ministerial post at the Ministry for the Presidency as he felt he was being undermined by some of his colleagues within the PASOK government for that very law.

Peponis was also one of Greece’s first members of the European Parliament, in 1981, and one of the truly patriotic voices within his party.