Pavlidis under more pressure

More pressure was piled on beleaguered former Minister of the Aegean Aristotelis Pavlidis yesterday when Deputy Merchant Marine Minister Panos Kammenos became the latest New Democracy official to suggest that he should step down from his role as a party deputy. Pavlidis has become embroiled in a blackmail case after allegations by shipowner Fotis Manousis that the latter was forced to pay bribes to secure state subsidies. Pavlidis’s aide has been charged with blackmail. «A politician has two choices: Either he distances himself from his assistant and sends him to the prosecutor or he assumes political responsibility for his actions,» said Kammenos. A day earlier, Transport Minister Costis Hatzidakis had suggested that if he was in Pavlidis’s position, he would have become an independent MP in order to ease the pressure on the government. Pavlidis has so far denied any wrongdoing and refused to step down.