Greek army chief resigns, cites 'ethics, dignity'
Greek Army cadets parade in front of officials and police officers in Athens on Sunday, March 25, 2012. (AP / Dimitri Messinis)
Published Wednesday, July 25, 2012 10:05AM EDT
ATHENS, Greece -- Greece's army chief of staff unexpectedly resigned Wednesday, just hours before a top government meeting on military policy. A statement from the Army said Lt. Gen. Constantinos Ziazias resigned for "reasons that touch on ethics and dignity, both his own and of the army," but did not elaborate further.
Ziazias, 57, was appointed nine months ago, just before the previous Socialist government stepped down. Changes of government in Greece are routinely followed by new top military appointments, and the current three-party coalition took over last month. But it was not entirely clear why Ziazias quit as chief of staff.
Opposition parties reacted to the resignation by accusing the conservative-led ruling coalition of trying to interfere in the appointments of army officers, a charge Defense Minister Panos Panayiotopoulos denied.
The resignation came just before Wednesday's planned meeting of Greece's council on foreign policy and defense, convened under Prime Minister Antonis Samaras. Panayiotopoulos said the council decided to replace Ziazias with Lt. Gen. Constantinos Ginis.