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Originally published Monday, February 27, 2012 at 5:41 AM

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Greek minister quits to run for party leadership

The Greek minister responsible for the country's police, Christos Papoutsis, has resigned from the country's coalition government to run for the leadership of the socialist party.

The Associated Press

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ATHENS, Greece —

The Greek minister responsible for the country's police, Christos Papoutsis, has resigned from the country's coalition government to run for the leadership of the socialist party.

Papoutsis has sent a letter to Prime Minister Lucas Papademos informing him of his decision, an announcement on the ministry's website says.

His ministry oversees Greece's security forces - police and the coast guard - as well as the fire brigade.

Papoutsis, 58, will represent the traditionalist wing of the socialist party in the election. Vice-premier and Finance Minister Evangelos Venizelos is the favorite to win.

Papoutsis is a former leader of the socialist youth in the late 70s and early 80s and a European Commissioner for Energy, Trade and Tourism from 1995-99. He was also Greece's Merchant Marine minister from 1999-2001.

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