Minister’s blasphemy live on TV

The deputy minister appointed in July to head a high-profile drive against overpricing was caught during a live television debate yesterday using obscene language against producers who had invited a female opposition MP to the show. Deputy Development Minister for Trade Kimon Koulouris, 63, was clearly heard uttering a common vulgarity – referring to a sexual act between himself and the Holy Virgin – before telling Antenna TV producers that he «will not be coming [to the show] again.» The outburst was during the «Good Morning Greece» show, broadcast from 7-10 a.m. Government spokesman Christos Protopapas said Koulouris had informed him «that he apologizes; it was a bad moment.» He said it was «obvious» that Koulouris would keep his job. In the summer, Koulouris was shown on TV buying needlework from an illegal central Athens street vendor at a time when the capital’s retailers were pressing for a crackdown on illegal competition. Koulouris claimed the woman was a veteran communist resistance fighter. This was proved to be untrue.