ATHENS, Greece (AP) – The Greek minister responsible for the country’s police, Christos Papoutsis, has resigned from the country’s coalition government to run for the leadership of the socialist party.
Papoutsis has sent a letter to Prime Minister Lucas Papademos informing him of his decision, an announcement on the ministry’s website says.
His ministry oversees Greece’s security forces _ police and the coast guard _ as well as the fire brigade.
Papoutsis, 58, will represent the traditionalist wing of the socialist party in the election. Vice-premier and Finance Minister Evangelos Venizelos is the favorite to win.
Papoutsis is a former leader of the socialist youth in the late 70s and early 80s and a European Commissioner for Energy, Trade and Tourism from 1995-99. He was also Greece’s Merchant Marine minister from 1999-2001.
(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)