x

Politics

New Greek Health Minister Apologizes Over Holocaust Remarks

September 1, 2021

ATHENS, Greece (AP) — Greece's new right-wing health minister apologized Wednesday for past remarks that the country's Jewish community had taken strong issue with, and avowed his “absolute respect” for Holocaust victims and his opposition to antisemitism.

Athanassios Plevris' statement on social media came hours after the Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece — which uses the Greek acronym KIS — expressed concern over his Cabinet appointment on Tuesday.

A KIS statement had summoned Plevris to apologize for remarks he made as defense lawyer in a 2009 court case against his extreme far-right father, Constantinos Plevris, who was charged with incitement to racist hatred or violence over a book called “Jews: The Whole Truth.”

KIS quoted the health minister as having said then, commenting on a reference to the Nazi Auschwitz death camp: “What incitement is this? Is it that one is not allowed to believe and want to believe that ‘I want to exterminate someone?’”

Plevris said Wednesday that KIS' objections to his court comments were “understandable” and that he “fully disagrees” with his father's views.

“But I never wanted to insult the Jewish people, and I apologize if I did,” the 44-year-old lawyer said. “I am certain that…as health minister, I will leave not the slightest grounds for reservation for those who doubt my respect for the Holocaust, and they will see that under no circumstances do I harbor antisemitic sentiments.”

The new minister joined the governing center-right New Democracy party in 2012 and before then was elected as a lawmaker with a small populist right party. He has repeatedly said he rejects the political views of his father, who was eventually acquitted.

Plevris, who lies well to the right of New Democracy's general line, was given the health portfolio — his first Cabinet position — during a government reshuffle Tuesday.

RELATED

ATHENS - “Haris Doukas has achieved the impossible” – begins Nektaria Stamouli’s article in Politico about the new mayor of Athens, following her headline: ‘The man who came from nowhere to run Athens’.

Top Stories

Columnists

A pregnant woman was driving in the HOV lane near Dallas.

General News

NEW YORK – Meropi Kyriacou, the new Principal of The Cathedral School in Manhattan, was honored as The National Herald’s Educator of the Year.

Video

By Defining Sex, Some States Are Denying Transgender People Legal Recognition

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Mack Allen, an 18-year-old high school senior from Kansas, braces for sideways glances, questioning looks and snide comments whenever he has to hand over his driver's license, which still identifies him as female.

HEMPSTEAD, NY – The Maids of Athena District 6 Lodge held their first ever mid-year conference on February 24 at St.

STAMFORD, CONNECTICUT - Is Michelle Troconis a murderous conspirator who wanted her boyfriend's estranged wife dead and helped him cover up her killing? Or was she an innocent bystander who unwittingly became ensnared in one of Connecticut's most enduring missing person and alleged homicide cases? A state jury heard two different tales of the 49-year-old Troconis as the prosecution and defense made their closing arguments Tuesday in Stamford.

LONDON — Kensington Palace says Britain's Prince William has pulled out of attending a memorial service for his godfather, the late King Constantine of Greece, because of a personal matter.

MONTREAL/NEW YORK – The Maids of Athena (MOA) District 6 (New York) and District 23 (Eastern Canada) Lodges held their first ever inter-district Zoom fundraising event on February 20.

Enter your email address to subscribe

Provide your email address to subscribe. For e.g. [email protected]

You may unsubscribe at any time using the link in our newsletter.