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Greece Fires Minister in Charge of Olympics

November 20, 2000|Associated Press

ATHENS, Greece — The government minister in charge of preparations for the Athens Olympics was fired Sunday in another disruption leading to the 2004 Games.

The dismissal of Culture Minister Theodoros Pangalos by Greece's premier comes three days before senior IOC officials are to visit Athens for an inspection.

Pangalos was removed after criticizing government labor reforms and Cabinet members. "A minister cannot hold a public dispute with the government, and cannot use reprehensible language against his colleagues," Premier Costas Simitis said.

Pangalos, 62, will be replaced by Evangelos Venizelos, who has held several Cabinet positions.

Opposition lawmaker Dora Bakoyanni, a former culture minister, told private Antenna radio: "Greece is not properly prepared and there are problems . . . but this action will not change that."

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