Minister of Maritime Affairs resigns following tragic ferry incident


In the wake of a tragic incident involving a ferry passenger in Piraeus last week, Minister of Maritime Affairs, Miltiadis Varvitsiotis, tendered his resignation on Monday.

According to government spokesperson Pavlos Marinakis, Christos Stylianidis, former Minister for Climate Crisis and Civil Protection in Kyriakos Mitsotakis’ previous administration, will assume the role.

The incident, which was captured on video and circulated on social media, elicited widespread outrage. The footage depicted the passenger attempting to board the Blue Horizon ferry just before its departure, only to be forcefully pushed off the loading ramp into the turbulent waters churned by the vessel’s propellers.

Regrettably, no rescue efforts were made, and the ferry continued its journey far from port until it was eventually recalled, reported Ekathimerini.

Varvitsiotis expressed his profound shock and sorrow over the incident, while identifying the victim as Antonis Karyotis, aged 36. However, during a separate television appearance, he remarked: “Today, there are people grieving for the unjustly departed; yet, the families of those who were seeking a day’s wage and are now facing accusations of a heinous act are also in mourning.”

This statement sparked considerable backlash, with many interpreting it as an attempt to equate the actions of the crewman with the tragedy suffered by the victim. Varvitsiotis sought to clarify that his words were misconstrued, attributing the misinterpretation to political motives. Nevertheless, the criticism persisted.

Minister of Maritime Affairs, Miltiadis Varvitsiotis. Photo: AFP.

“In recent days, I have become the subject of a vitriolic attack, taking on increasingly toxic overtones. A statement of mine was easily misinterpreted and caused tremendous consternation. I promptly and sincerely extended my apologies.

“I never intended to draw a parallel between the victim and those responsible. I never absolved the shipping company of the responsibilities it vehemently shirks,” he asserted in a statement announcing his resignation.”

He added, “Both my political trajectory and personal integrity dictate that I relinquish my role as Minister of Maritime Affairs and Island Policy. Consequently, I have submitted my resignation to the Prime Minister.”

Varvitsiotis’ departure marks the second resignation within Mitsotakis’ government in under two months, following Notis Mitarakis’ decision to step down from his position as Citizen Protection Minister after vacationing on a yacht near the island of Patmos while devastating wildfires ravaged Athens.

Mitarakis had also faced widespread criticism after two of his announcements regarding the police were subsequently retracted by Mitsotakis himself.

Read more: Ferry crew members testify on passenger’s death at Port Piraeus

Source: Ekathimerini




By subscribing you accept our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.


Latest News

2035: The end of the Greek community of Australia as we know it (Part Two)

In our previous article we referred to the important year 2035, a milestone for the presence and evolution of Hellenism in Australia.

‘Poor Things’ costumes exhibition opens at Benaki Museum in Greece

Costumes from Giorgos Lanthimos' film "Poor Things" are featured in an exhibition inaugurated by Greek President Katerina Sakellaropoulou.

Meet Joanna Kalafatis: New Greek star of hit Netflix series ‘Maestro in Blue’

Joanna Kalafatis is a beautiful Greek woman with voluminous hair. However, as the saying goes, there’s a lot more than meets the eye.

Archaeologists in Crete mystified by 4000-year-old discovery

A recently discovered 4,000-year-old stone building in Crete is puzzling archaeologists and potentially delaying an airport project.

Greece ranks third among Mediterranean cruise destinations

Data from the Hellenic Ports Association (ELIME) show that Greek ports handled 7,003,150 passengers in 2023, up from 4,629,650 in 2022.

You May Also Like

NSW to mark 49th anniversary of the Turkish invasion of Cyprus

SEKA NSW has announced its program of events to mark the 49th anniversary of the Turkish invasion of Cyprus this year.

Hundreds arrested in Greece for violating new coronavirus measures

The Hellenic Police has arrested a total of 127 people across Greece for violating strict measures introduced by the government in a bid to curb the spread of the coronavirus.

Orthodox Easter celebrations resonate across Greece and the world

Millions of Orthodox faithful across Greece and the world celebrated Orthodox Easter on Sunday, May 5 this year.