Tsipras accepts resignation of alternate Labour minister over rent subsidy

Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras accepted the resignation of Alternate Labour Minister Rania Antonopoulou, his office announced in a statement on Monday.

The announcement comes after a newspaper reported on Sunday that Antonopoulou had applied and received an annual rent subsidy available for lawmakers for her Athens apartment, totaling 23,000 euros. She cited Law 4336/2015, which entitles non-parliamentary members of the government to receive a residence allowance if they do not have a privately owned residence in Athens.

Tsipras is said to have decided to abolish the legal provision allowing non-parliamentary members of the government to receive a residence allowance if they do not have a privately owned residence in Athens, sources said on Monday.

The announcement follows his decision to accept the resignation of Alternate Labour Minister Rania Antonopoulou, a non-parliamentary government member, over her use of the provision, which stirred controversy.

Government spokesman Dimitris Tzanakopoulos told a radio station Tsipras did not consider that the minister’s use of the subsidy law was appropriate. In statements earlier on Monday, Antonopoulou said she had started the process to return the money she had received.

In the prime minister’s office statement, Tsipras thanked Antonopoulou for her three-year tenure at the Labour ministry.