Greece’s Deputy Health Minister Pavlos Polakis has been reprimanded by the European Union’s top health official after video footage of Polakis smoking while dancing Zeibekiko at the Bouzoukia in Athens, has surfaced this week.
Deputy Minister Polakis was also photographed with a cigarette at a news conference in 2016 and was again criticised for smoking in public.
EU Health Commissioner Vytenis Andriukaitis, who was in Athens to mark World Cancer Day this week said Polakis practice was “shameful”.
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 wore one. I don’t. It’s the suits which passed through here who bankrupted our country,” Polakis said.
*Watch the video here-
*Main source: Reuters