Dep. FM Diamataris resigns after furor over his academic degrees

Thursday, 05 December 2019 14:24
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Greece's deputy foreign minister, Antonis Diamataris, on Thursday tendered his resignation days after it was revealed that he had exaggerated his university studies, and specifically that he was a holder of a MBA degree from Columbia.

Main opposition SYRIZA party and other parties had called for this resignation this week, while much of the media coverage was critical.

In the wake of the mini furor, Diamataris, a Greek-American who has owned and published the National Herald (Ethnikos Kyrikas) expatriate newspaper since 1977, merely confirmed that he was enrolled in Columbia's MBA program but did not graduate due to financial reasons.

A closely-scrutinized CV posted on the Greek foreign ministry's website previously listed that Diamataris had "studied" at Columbia, and earlier, at New York City's Queen College as an undergraduate with a degree in economics.

A post on the National Herald's website, since taken down, previously listed a MBA in a brief resume by Diamataris.

In a resignation letter, the 69-year-old Diamataris said that over the past few days he was the recipient of "personal attacks aimed to disorient, with the purpose being to damage the (Greek) government and the prime minister, which I love and hold in esteem,  as well as to undermine my work".

His portfolio was expatriate (Diaspora) Greeks and religious diplomacy.

Greek PM Kyriakos Mitsotakis accepted the resignation, with press reports claiming that the latter's office essentially demanded the resignation. According to reports, Diamataris was either travelling towards or had reached Australia in an official capacity when he resigned.

Focus on Diamataris emerged after a webpage dealing with Greek-American issues had previously posted an answer by Columbia as to whether Diamataris was the recipient of a MBA degree from the highly rated American university, merely responding, as a matter of public record, that the now former deputy FM's status was "enrollment".

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