Min­is­ter made to quit after slight against MP

Ed­u­ca­tion of­fi­cial fired after ril­ing KKE’s Kanelli with Ka­sidiaris ref­er­ence

Kathimerini English - - Front Page -

A ver­bal as­saultin Par­lia­ment against Com­mu­nist Party (KKE) deputy Liana Kanelli cost Deputy Ed­u­ca­tion Min­is­ter Gior­gos Stylios his job yes­ter­day after Prime Min­is­ter An­to­nis Sa­ma­ras asked the con­ser­va­tive cab­i­net mem­ber to re­sign.

The in­ci­dent oc­curred in the House fol­low­ing a ques­tion by Kanelli re­gard­ing child mal­nu­tri­tion. After the deputy min­is­ter re- ferred to a gov­ern­ment pro­gram of­fer­ing free fruit in schools, Kanelli said he re­minded her of Marie An­toinette and the “Let them eat cake” phrase at­trib­uted to her. An ex­change of barbs fol­lowed, with Kanelli in­ter­rupt­ing Stylios sev­eral times, and ended in the lat­ter ac­cus­ing the KKE MP of “try­ing to turn me into Ka­sidiaris,” a ref­er­ence to Golden Dawn’s spokesman Ilias Ka­sidiaris who slapped Kanelli on live tele­vi­sion two years ago. “You want Ka­sidiaris, Ms Kanelli, but Stylios will not be­come a Ka­sidiaris,” Stylios said.

The com­ments prompted an out­cry on so­cial me­dia, and reignited ac­cu­sa­tions of far-right sym­pa­thies within con­ser­va­tive New Democ­racy, trig­ger­ing Stylios to apol­o­gize in com­ments out­side Par­lia­ment. “Ten­sions of­ten to lead to over-thetop state­ments,” he said. “I apol­o­gize to Ms Kanelli.”

Crit­i­cism con­tin­ued, how­ever, in­clud­ing a state­ment by coali­tion part­ner PA­SOK, which ac­cused Stylios of “po­lit­i­cally and morally un­ac­cept­able be­hav­ior.” Left­ist SYRIZA said “gov­ern­ment cadres in­vok­ing Golden Style-vi­o­lence is a mas­sive in­sult to democ­racy.”

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