Deputy minister in hot water after insulting soccer fans


Deputy Education Minister Costas Zouraris appeared to have one foot out of Cabinet’s door on Sunday, after insulting two popular soccer clubs live on public radio the previous day.

Speaking on Thessaloniki’s Metropolis 95.5 FM on Saturday, Zouraris used a disparaging slogan usually reserved to the die-hard fan tiers of soccer stadiums when referring to Piraeus’s Olympiakos, while also insulting Aris, one of the biggest clubs in the northern port city.

“Who gives a f*** about Aris,” he told his radio host.

His comments prompted an immediate reaction from the opposition but also from his own party, SYRIZA’s government coalition partner Independent Greeks (ANEL).

“With his most recent comments, Costas Zouraris has become a symbol of this government’s debasement and degeneracy. The country’s problem is not Zouraris but the person who chose people like him to govern,” New Democracy said in a statement.

ANEL MP and deputy parliamentary speaker Dimitris Kammenos demanded a public apology from the deputy minister and called on party chief Panos Kammenos to request his resignation.

“It's him or me,” Kammenos, who is of no relation to the ANEL chief, told Skai TV.

“We will not tolerate another insult from Zouraris against the fans of the two teams,” Kammenos said, referring to a previous incident where the deputy minister had made similar disparaging remarks about Olympiakos. “These are divisive comments that create an explosive climate.”