European Health and Food Safety Commissioner Vytenis Andriukaitis blasted Greek Alternate Health Minister Pavlos Polakis, after footage of the Greek politicians showed him smoking during a press conference.
“It’s a disgrace! It’s a disgrace! This guy understands nothing of health. Zero!”, the Commissioner angrily said, responding to a question on the sidelines of an event on occasion of World Cancer Day about a photo published in Greek newspaper “Kathimerini” that showed Mr Polakis smoking during a press conference.
“Such behavior must be denounced in the public opinion. If you’re addicted, it’s probably hard to get rid of it, but at least try, get nicotine chewing gum, get medical help. The question of applying anti-smoking legislation is very serious and your country’s parliament has to discuss it. It is not a matter of free will if someone smokes or not. When this happens in a public place, it is a violation of human rights, because the surrounding people have the right to breathe fresh air. Today I visited the Ministry of Health and the premises smelled of cigarettes”, added the Commissioner.
The European Commissioner also commented on the fact that none of the officials he had who met at the ministry were wearing a tie. “Do they think they are fighting the elite? This is a street policy!”, he commented in a caustic way.