Government spokesman Simos Kedikoglou on Friday condemned an attack on Health Minister Adonis Georgiadis during a scheduled visit by the latter to the Attiko Hospital.
"We condemn the assault and we call on other parties who want to be part of the democratic spectrum to do the same,» Kedikoglou said. PASOK, the socialist party with which conservative New Democracy shares power, responded by "unreservedly condemning" the attack.
Georgiadis, for his part said he was not frightened by his assailants. "A fascist minority will not stop me from doing my duty," he said.
Georgiadis was pushed and shoved by protesters outside the hospital and reportedly emerged from the scuffle with bruises and scratches. Earlier in the day, hospital workers had issued an announcement describing the minister as «persona non grata.»
The incident came a day after Georgiadis revealed that up to six hospitals in Athens are to be transformed into health centers to treat people with chronic illnesses. Georgiadis said that the hospitals chosen for this program would be the least busy in the capital and insisted that the changes were not aimed at cutting public spending but at making better use of resources and personnel.