ATHENS – The widow of a yacht owner on whose vessel Prime Minister and Radical Left SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras vacationed after wildfires killed 102 people reportedly will be named as one of two Greek delegates to the International Olympic Committee.
Photos pictured Tsipras on the luxury boat after the July, 2018 fires roared through areas around the Greek capital, nearly destroying the seaside village of Mati, with a TV documentary claiming the government had no response plan and tried to hide the toll.
Katerina Panagopoulou, the widow of influential Greek shipping magnate Pericles Panagopoulos, backed Tsipras to the hilt and has been serving as an unpaid aide on Diaspora issues in his office.
She was recently appointed as a Goodwill ambassador-at-large – a position that comes with diplomatic privileges.
According to a report in the newspaper Ta Nea, which cited a “reliable source”, the proposal was put forth by an unnamed Deputy Sports Minister.
That led the major opposition New Democracy, leading big in polls with elections coming this year, to mock the idea she should be on the IOC, indicating it was her reward for supporting Tsipras, who has tried to portray the Conservatives as the party of the elite.
“… You lend me your yacht, and I’ll make you an Ambassador-at-Large and an ‘immortal’,” the New Democracy response went, referring to the IOC position being a lifetime appointment with special privileges. There was no report on her qualifications, if any.
New Democracy said that, the “hypocrisy, impudence, and conceit by the yacht-loving Mr. Tsipras knows no bounds,” the statement added.