ND’s Mitsotakis insists on shipping minister’s resignation during stormy parliament session

Main opposition New Democracy leader Kyriakos Mitsotakis once again demanded the resignation of Shipping Minister Panagiotis Kouroumblis on Wednesday, during a heated altercation in parliament regarding the sunken tanker “Agia Zoni II” and the resulting oil spill.

Mitsotakis held Kouroumblis personally responsible for the extent of the environmental damage done, prompting a strong reaction from the minister, who stressed that all response mechanisms were mobilised immediately and insisted that he would never offer his resignation as long as Mitsotakis was the one demanding it.

The exchange took place during a briefing of parliament’s environment committee on the incident, during which Alternate Environment Minister Sokratis Famellos and Deputy Shipping Minister Nektarios Santorinios offered assurances that the response had been the best possible from the start, with the emergency plan going into effect immediately.

Mitsotakis accused Kouroumblis of a delayed response to the incident, including a delay in seeking the assistance of the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA), which the minister strenuously denied.