Greece has dismissed Stelios Stavridis, the chairman of its privatisation agency the Hellenic Republic Asset Development Fund (HRADF), for “ethical reasons” over an “unfortunate mistake that couldn’t be overlooked”, a senior finance ministry official said.
The statement was made following a picture of Stavridis on board the private jet of Dimitris Melissanidis which was published in Greek newspapers Sunday.
Melissanidis has a major interest in the Greek-Czech equity fund Emma Delta, the new owner of a 33 percent stake in OPAP, along with Czech billionaire Jiri Smejc.
According to media reports, following the signing of the OPAP contract with Emma Delta in Athens earlier this month, Stavridis accepted a ride in Melissanidis’ private jet from Athens to the island of Kefalonia en-route to France where Melissanidis was travelling to.
“He was travelling to France and said he could drop me off on the island of Kefalonia on his way,” Stavridis said. “We continued to discuss issues that concerned OPAP during the flight.”
Stavridis’ departure marks the third chairman the HRADF has lost in the past twelve months.