Attempt to soothe row over health

Recently appointed Health Minister Dimitris Avramopoulos attempted on Saturday to downplay his recent harsh criticism of the country’s medical system in comments widely interpreted as being aimed at his predecessor at the ministry, Nikitas Kaklamanis. Avramopoulos, who got his new job in a Cabinet reshuffle in February, said in his first press conference as health minister that the conditions prevailing at hospitals are shameful and unacceptable. The comments were seen by many as sharply criticizing Kaklamanis’s two years at the ministry’s helm. In an interview published in Sunday’s Kathimerini, Kaklamanis countered by saying that Avramopoulos had made a hasty assessment of the Ministry and hinted that the current health minister should work more and talk less. When asked about the apparent fight brewing between the two leading New Democracy figures, Avramopoulos said he had no problem with his «friend,» who, he said, had carried out vital work at the ministry.