NEWS

Resignation blow for PM

The possibility of a Cabinet reshuffle was ruled out by the government yesterday following the resignation of Deputy Economy and Finance Minister Adam Regouzas, who claimed he had been unfairly attacked by the media. His letter of resignation was handed to Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis yesterday morning and his departure from the government was immediately accepted. Regouzas offered to resign after a television program late on Thursday night aired a videotape of him speaking at a function being organized by businessman Vassilis Christidis. During his speech, Regouzas indicates that he played a role in one of Christidis’s television channels, Orion, being paid to advertise a state-controlled company. Christidis has been charged with forming a gang and had been remanded in custody shortly before the function was held. Regouzas denied doing anything wrong and said he was resigning because of the «constant and unfair» attacks he had suffered recently. «Vested interests and those who serve them have been annoyed by the war that I have declared [on them],» he said. The former minister added that «the truth will shine in court.» His resignation came less than two weeks after government spokesman Theodoros Roussopoulos said Regouzas would not lose his job despite comments he made to customs officials suggesting they should cut down, rather than eradicate, taking kickbacks. By stepping down, Regouzas became the second Cabinet member to leave. Former agricultural development minister Savvas Tsitouridis was forced to resign last September following his son’s preferential university transfer. Roussopoulos remained tight-lipped about who will take up the vacant post but Deputy Development Minister Yiannis Papathanassiou is one of the favorites.