Athens mayor urges Toskas to step down, minister fires back

Athens mayor urges Toskas to step down, minister fires back

Angered by the recent spate of violence in the Greek capital, Athens Mayor Giorgos Kaminis called for the resignation of Citizens’ Protection Minister Nikos Toskas for the second time in a week Thursday.

“How many dumpsters, how many trolley buses, how many kiosks need to be torched and how many statues destroyed before a minister has the decency to resign?” Kaminis told Skai TV.

On Monday, unknown assailants firebombed three trolley buses on central Patission Street near the historical Athens Polytechnic building after forcing the passengers off one of the vehicles. The other two buses were empty except for the drivers. No one was injured. Kaminis urged the leftist minister to resign after the incident.

The same area suffered extensive vandalism and destruction during rioting by self-styled anarchists on the anniversary of the 1973 student uprising on November 17. The morning after, municipal staff removed about 2 tons of debris, including stones, pieces of marble and metal, desks and chairs that came from the university.

“We cannot tolerate… this blind destructive rage by a maximum of 10 people as police stand by doing nothing,” Kaminis said, adding that the issue is political, not operational.

“There is political responsibility which the minister has to undertake, and the only way to do so is to step down,” he said.

The SYRIZA minister fired back Thursday, saying that Kaminis’s comments were driven by political expediency.

“The former ombudsman is now defending other interests and I really don’t recognize him anymore,” Toskas said of the mayor. “Why didn’t he call for resignations when Athens was burning before?”

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