NEWS

Tearful Papazoe defends Oia villa

A former Socialist minister who has been accused of using her influence to build an illegal holiday home on the island of Santorini wept in Parliament yesterday as she claimed to be a victim of persecution. Elissavet Papazoe, who until October’s reshuffle was deputy foreign affairs minister, was responding to a question by opposition New Democracy MPs regarding an October report by the state ombudsman according to which her house in the picturesque, clifftop village of Oia had been illegally extended. This allegedly occurred while she was deputy minister at the Environment, Town Planning and Public Works Ministry. Papazoe, who broke into tears twice during her address to the House, visibly embarrassing opposition and government alike, said the building was only 108 square meters in size and had been extended in 1992, when ND was in power. She claimed the issue was stirred up by Santorini officials and «rackets» involved in issuing illegal building permits. The meeting on Thursday lasted 85 minutes and afterward government spokesman Michalis Papapetrou told reporters that «further meetings will be held whenever it is deemed necessary.»