Greek economy & development minister resigns after wife benefit row

Greece’s Economy and Development Minister Dimitri Papadimitriou has resigned, an aide said on Tuesday, after his wife, a deputy labour minister, quit in a housing allowance row on Monday, Reuters reports.

Papadimitriou, whose remit involved promoting Greece abroad for investment projects, submitted his resignation to Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras on Monday night, an economy ministry official told Reuters.

“He communicated with the prime minister and told him he was doing it for reasons of political sensitivity,” the official said. Tsipras accepted the resignation.

On Monday, Papadimitriou’s spouse, Rania Antonopoulou, resigned after disclosures she had made use of a housing allowance despite extensive personal wealth.

Although there was nothing formally untoward about claiming the benefit, it touched a nerve in a country whose population has suffered the effects of a debilitating financial crisis and where a third live in poverty.