Author Topic: How to be Greek  (Read 3227 times)

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Online Maik

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How to be Greek
« on: Wednesday, 06 February, 2019 @ 22:00:27 »
Deputy health minister caught taking a puff tells EU official to butt out

Greece's alternate health minister has told the European Union's top health official to butt out after getting a reprimand for smoking in public.

Alternate Minister Pavlos Polakis was caught on video footage this week holding a cigarette while dancing in a club. He had also been photographed smoking at a news conference in 2016.

The photograph drew a rebuke from EU Health Commissioner Vytenis Andriukaitis, who was in Athens to mark World Cancer Day. Andriukaitis said the practice was "shameful".

“This guy knows nothing about health,” he told Kathimerini.

Polakis, who is also a surgeon, said he was dealing with more pressing issues at the ministry than smoking. "Learn before you speak," Polakis wrote on his Facebook account in a post addressed to Andriukaitis.

"I'll decide when to stop smoking, on my terms," Polakis said.

Greece has the highest smoking rate in the European Union. It bans smoking in indoor public spaces, such as the nightclub where Polakis danced as red napkins fluttered around him.

The EU official, who was questioned by a daily newspaper frequently critical of the outspoken minister, also complained the health ministry smelt of cigarettes and that nobody wore ties.

"That's a lie ... the security guard at the entrance wears one. I don't. It's the suits who passed through here that bankrupted our country," Polakis said.