Minister opens Greek party rift
Mr Simitis said he could no longer work at the beck and call of a small ruling clique. His resignation came 24 hours after the Prime Minister publicly attacked him for botching the privatisation of the Skaramanga naval shipyard which was supposed to have been sold to a consortium of Japanese, Norwegian, Singaporean and Israeli companies.
In a resignation letter, Mr Simitis refused to take responsibility for the mess, saying he had followed government policy to the letter but had found himself hampered by a separate decision-making process within "the circles of power" - a clear reference to Mr Papandreou's personal entourage.
Mr Simitis, who has been a key figure in Socialist governments since 1981, had been at odds with Mr Papandreou over privatisation, and the shipyards in particular, for several months. Political point-scoring within the ruling party has all but paralysed Greece's efforts to comply with European Union agreements and sell off some of its less efficient assets.
The main issue is political. With Mr Papandreou's days as party leader numbered - he is 74, losing popularity and in indifferent health - the race is on for his succession and Mr Simitis is a prime contender.
Feat of engineering: Incredible photographs show construction beneath New York's Second Avenue
Charles Saatchi accepts police caution for assault after trying to dismiss Nigella Lawson row as 'playful tiff'
Google, BT and Yahoo! agree plan to tackle child porn
Exposed: Edward Erin, the doctor whose faked asthma drug test results proved fatal
Charles Saatchi: Taking caution for holding Nigella Lawson's throat was 'better than it hanging over all of us'
- 1 Freedom fighters? Cannibals? The truth about Syria’s rebels
- 5 Iran to send 4,000 troops to aid President Assad forces in Syria
Negotiable Depending on Experience: The Green Recruitment Company: The Green R...
£25000 - £30000 Per Annum: The Green Recruitment Company: The Green Recruitmen...
Negotiable: Progressive Recruitment: Dear Sumadhab, A growing engineering comp...
Negotiable: Randstad Education Ilford: We are currently recruiting for a Year ...