New Citizen Protection Minister Michalis Chrisochoidis, who again assumed the sensitive public order portfolio after more than 15 years, on Tuesday cashiered the leadership of Greek Police (EL.AS) hours after he was sworn-in as an out-of-Parliament Cabinet member in the new Mitsotakis government.
Hellenic Police Chief Gen. Aristidis Andrikopoulos tendered his resignation after it was requested by Chrisochoidis, with the former's deputy also asked to step down.
Andrikopoulos was sharply criticized over the previous period after he was seen attending, in civilian dress, then ruling SYRIZA party rallies, where he chatted with ministers and party cadres. Service regulations in the country prohibit political activities and partisanship by military and public safety personnel, especially "top brass".
In a first reaction, Chrisochoidis' predecessor, Olga Gerovassili, charged that the new government views police as "spoils", while warning of "coming revanchist attacks by the new right".
In a related development, the heads of both the state broadcaster, ERT, and the state-run news agency, ANA-MPA, also handed in their resignation on Tuesday evening. Both officials were appointed by the previous leftist government.