Defiant SYRIZA Minister Says He Won’t Pay Defamation Award

Alternate Health Minister Pavlos Polakis. (Photo by Eurokinissi/Stelios Misinas, FILE)

ATHENS – Outspoken Greek Alternate Health Minister Pavlos Polakis, once depicted smoking at a No Smoking Day ceremony, has refused to pay a 25,000 euros ($28,890) claim for defaming the National Federation of Hospital Workers (POEDIN) and its President, Michalis Yannakos.

A First Instance Court made the ruling but Polakis said he’ll ignore it and instead lashed out again at the workers and officials, saying they were “rodents” feeding off the health system.

nothing would stop him from cleansing the public health system of the “rodents” who had feeding
The case dealt with comments that Polakis posted on Facebook in January 2017 targeting Giannakos for statements he had made to the British Guardian newspaper about the health service whose budget has been cut despite promises by Prime Minister and Radical Left SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras to protect it.

Polakis called Yannakos as “a fool” and accused him to telling “despicable lies,” adding that his “place is on the trash heap of history,” ironically the direction in which SYRIZA is heading with polls showing it has slipped to under 15 percent after Tsipras reneged on anti-austerity promises.
POEDIN had sued Polakis, accusing the minister of using “degrading, insulting and wholly inappropriate” language in his social media comment.

The court awarded 5,000 euros ($5,800) to POEDIN and 20,000 euros ($23,181) to Yiannakos in compensation and ordered Polakis to publish a summary of its ruling on his personal Facebook account, which he also refused to do and there was no report on whether he would be held in contempt of court or walk away free.

Condemning Polakis as a “common slanderer and a liar” and a “shield” for Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, POEDIN announced after the vedict that it would donate half the compensation award to hospitals for the purchase of medical equipment and the remainder to the families of the victims of last month’s deadly fires in Attica – if it’s ever paid.