‘My departure is not voluntary’ outgoing shipping minister Thodoris Dritsas says

The new Shipping and Island Policy Minister Panagiotis Kouroumblis on Monday took over from his predecessor Thodoris Dritsas in an emotionally-charged handover ceremony at the ministry building in Piraeus, following the government reshuffle late on Friday.

“My departure is not voluntary, as some press reports wrote, though I knew every moment that I worked at this ministry that could be the last,” Dritsas said, confining his speech to pending issues that still remained to be completed.

The new minister called for a “democratic patriotism, free of chauvinism and nationalism” and urged the leadership of the coast guard, shipping unions and seamens to work together to enhance transparency and meritocracy.

The new deputy minister Nektarios Sandorinios praised the hallmarks of “realistic governance” of the outgoing minister and said he will try to move along the same lines, while highlighting the special requirements of the ministry and the need for action to alleviate the negative repercussions of islandness.