Judgment day for minister?

Ending a week of intense speculation, Prime Minister Costas Simitis will have a crucial meeting today with Health Minister Alekos Papadopoulos, who in a bombshell newspaper interview last Sunday announced his intention to give up politics at the end of the government’s mandate. At the time Simitis was on a six-day official visit to China, and he created considerable confusion by avoiding any comment. Meanwhile, the reformist minister’s interview, published in Kathimerini, prompted calls from the political establishment for Simitis to sack him, while government sources said the PM – who flew back to Athens late on Friday – was displeased with Papadopoulos and would probably do so. The minister cited unspecified “personal reasons” for his decision, saying he was unhappy with Greece’s «TV democracy.» In an interview with yesterday’s Kathimerini, Interior Minister Costas Skandalidis called Papadopoulos’s decision «a political mistake.» And Development Minister Akis Tsochadzopoulos told Ethnos that a Cabinet reshuffle before October’s local elections would be «a positive development.»