Greek European Commissioner for Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship Dimitris Avramopoulos on Sunday resigned his post as vice-president of the conservative New Democracy party, citing obligations in Brussels.
"Because of my constant involvement with European matters on a daily basis and under the burden of responsibility of one of the strongest political portfolios in the European Commission, I wish to cede to the president and the party the honorary seat of vice president," Avramopoulos told a meeting of New Democracy's political council chaired by party president and former Prime Minister Antonis Samaras on Sunday.
"I believe it is essential for the post of vice president to be served by a representative of the new generation. It is time to bridge the generations in this party," Avramopoulos said.
The former defense minister, however, was also critical of the former ruling party's handling of its defeat to leftist SYRIZA in snap polls on January 25.
"We cannot attribute our defeat to the handout pledges made by the opponent. We must recognize our mistakes and exercise self-criticism," Avramopoulos said, urging the conservative party to win back the ground it has lost in the center of the political spectrum.