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Former Greek MP Criticized for Qualifications

Sophie Mirabella Panopoulos
Sophie Mirabella Panopoulos

The recent elections in Australia was a big surprise for the Greek Sophie Mirabella Panopoulos and her supporters. Although Mirabella was expected to have an important position in the Abbott government, she conceded defeat in Victorian seat of Indi.

Mirabella was the Coalition’s spokeswoman for industry and a close ally of Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott. However, she lost her regional seat to popular independent MP, Cathy McGowan.

On Tuesday, the Abbott government appointed the former Liberal MP  to the board of the government-owned naval shipbuilding firm ASC Pty Ltd. Finance Minister Mathias Cormann, announcing the appointment commented on Mirabella’s legal background and ”extensive experience working with the manufacturing industry” stating that she will make a valuable contribution to the board. 

Mirabella was one of three new appointments to the board announced by the government. Peter Iancov and Paul Rizzo will join Mirabella on the board for three years.

However, the opposition attacked this decision commenting on the salary Mirabella will be paid (7o,000 dollars per year) and doubting her skills. “ASC’s work is too important for the company to be used as a dumping ground for failed politicians,” said opposition defence spokesman Stephen Conroy. “The Prime Minister should overrule his Finance Minister and immediately overturn this appointment.” he added.

The Shadow Treasurer Chris Bowen told ABC television: ”What does she understand about the Australian Submarine Corporation which other eminently qualified people from industry couldn’t have contributed?”

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