Pyrros Di­mas: Gov­ern­ment made me leave Greece

Kathimerini English - - Front Page -

The gov­ern­ment and op­po­si­tion New Democ­racy clashed yes­ter­day over com­ments by three­time Olympic gold medal win­ner and for­mer PASOK MP Pyrros Di­mas on Tuesday that he was forced to leave Greece and head to the US be­cause the SYRIZA-led gov­ern­ment slashed fund­ing to the weightlift­ing fed­er­a­tion he was ad­vis­ing. Dim­itris Pa­padi­moulis, a SYRIZA mem­ber of the Euro­pean Par­lia­ment, dis­missed the claim by Di­mas say­ing in a tweet that he “more likely found a bet­ter job in the US, rather than booted out.” ND vice pres­i­dent Ado­nis Ge­or­giadis de­rided the com­ment by Pa­padi­moulis and ad­mon­ished him, also in a tweet, for mock­ing Di­mas’s com­plaint that he was driven out of the coun­try. The for­mer Olympic weightlift­ing cham­pion said the gov­ern­ment forced him to leave Greece be­cause he was a mem­ber of another party. “From the mo­ment SYRIZA came to power, they cut 55 per­cent from the Greek Fed­er­a­tion,” he told Arena FM ra­dio sta­tion on Tuesday, adding that, in do­ing so, they raised ob­sta­cles to the emer­gence of a new gen­er­a­tion of ath­letes, who can no longer take part and com­pete in in­ter­na­tional com­pe­ti­tions. “It was like they were telling me to pack up and leave, said Di­mas, who now lives and works in the US as a weightlift­ing ad­viser. “SYRIZA es­sen­tially sent me away. It was a po­lit­i­cal de­ci­sion,” he said.

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