Offensive tweets force resignation of Greek deputy minister
Independent Greeks MP Dimitris Kammenos announced his resignation as deputy transport minister on Wednesday night just hours after being handed the job.
Kammenos said he was stepping down following a furore over numerous offensive messages on his Twitter account. Independent Greeks’ leader Panos Kammenos had earlier tweeted that his namesake, who is no relation, would step aside to allow an investigation to be carried out.
The move came after Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras reportedly asked the Independent Greeks (ANEL) leader to determine the authenticity of several racist and homophobic tweets that appeared on the account of the new minister.
Dimitris Kammenos’s appointment had fueled an outraged response on Twitter, where he was known for his racist comments. It also provoked a political reaction, with SYRIZA MEP Dimitris Papadimoulis and lawmaker Vassiliki Katrivanou publicly expressing their disapproval.
After the outcry, Dimitris Kammenos issued an apology but also claimed that his Twitter account had been handled by more than 15 aides and suggested it had been hacked.
Mega TV reported that the police’s Cyber Crime Unit has been asked to determine whether his Twitter account was indeed violated. The account was deactivated following the decision on Kammenos’s cabinet appointment and then reactivated late on Wednesday.
Kammenos’s appointment was a bone of contention between Tsipras and his coalition partner, Kathimerini understands. It seems the ANEL leader was intent on having the MP in the cabinet and that Tsipras initially resisted but then agreed.