Outgoing Education Minister Filis lashes out at archbishop, PM

Outgoing Education Minister Filis lashes out at archbishop, PM

During a handover ceremony on Monday, the outgoing Education and Religious Affairs Minister Nikos Filis, who has clashed with Archbishop Ieronymos, lashed out at the head of the Orthodox Church but also at Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras who moved him out of his post.

Filis, who is succeeded by Constantinos Gavroglou, spoke of "far-right rhetoric" in the Church and hit out at Tsipras, claiming that the premier had degenerated from "an excellent 20" – the top mark in Greek school examinations – to a "referred" student – meaning one who must repeat the previous year due to poor performance.

In a long speech, Filis made it clear that he came under pressure to move to another ministry and refused because he had been committed to his work at the Education Ministry and his leftist ideals. 

As for the Church, he said the behavior of Ieronymos and others toward him – notably the Church's resistance to his plans to change religious classes at schools – demonstrated the need to reset the relationship between the church and the state. 

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