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Athens News Agency: News in English, 07-06-10

Athens News Agency: News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Athens News Agency at <http://www.ana.gr/>

CONTENTS

  • [01] Papandreou again demands early elections
  • [02] KKE-PASOK cross swords over LA.OS party

  • [01] Papandreou again demands early elections

    Main opposition PASOK leader George Papandreou on Sunday again reiterated his call for early elections, this time from the city of Corinth, west of Athens, where he addressed party supporters at an outdoor rally.

    Papandreou, echoing similar statements over recent months, again criticised the government as "unreliable", while he cited increased poverty, cost-of-living, unemployment and insecurity as plaguing Greek society.

    He also charged that the government is preparing to sell-off the bloated state-run and bourse-listed telecoms and power utilities, OTE and PPC, at a "bargain price", while pointing to the high-profile fiscal audit in late 2004 as merely an "excuse" to renege on pre-election promises.

    Moreover, he again stepped up his criticism of the government over the ongoing bonds furor, saying the Karamanlis government was attempting to cover-up political responsibilities in the affair while at the same time paying the back interest from a JP Morgan repurchase, finalised on Friday, of a questionable structure bond with taxpayers' money.

    Turning to foreign policy issues, the former foreign minister charged that the government was "ridiculing Greece" and "afraid to take initiatives, thereby missing opportunities for the Cyprus issue, Greek-Turkish relations, FYROM, the Balkans, and absent from the European Union".

    Caption: Main opposition PASOK leader George Papandreou greets supporters during a party rally in the city of Corinth on Sunday, June 10, 2007. ANA-MPA / V. PSOMAS.

    [02] KKE-PASOK cross swords over LA.OS party

    Communist Party of Greece (KKE) leader Aleka Papariga and main opposition PASOK deputy Michalis Chrysochoidis crossed swords on Sunday over accusations by the former that PASOK was 'sponsoring' the out-of-Parliament Popular Orthodox Rally party (LA.OS) via media 'friendly' to the main opposition party, in statements made during separate press interviews.

    "The KKE does not speak in the air", Papariga said in her interview, replying to a question on whether the party had evidence to back up the accusation. "We have no need for lies," the KKE secretary added.

    Asked to put LA.OS in a political and ideological category, Papariga said the party "hides its true face ... nationalism, racism, obscurant perceptions, populism and anti-communism co-exist in LAOS".

    Replying to other questions, Papariga said KKE does not fear a loss of its voters to other parties, as indicated by recent opinion polls, because "the KKE's policy is formulated from a position of principles and is not determined by others".

    Regarding charges by PASOK that the KKE has formed a 'front' with ruling New Democracy party against the main opposition party, Papariga stressed that "when the KKE forms a front with another party it comes out and openly says so."

    Asked whether she anticipated that KKE would attract votes from PASOK, Papariga replied that it was in the interests of the working classes to vote for KKE, "without this presupposing a general agreement with us, however".

    She further denied accusations that the KKE wanted a three-party parliament and not a five-party parliament, stressing that KKE preferred a decisive reinforcement of its own parliamentary strength, adding that "we are in favour of ND and PASOK declining as much as possible".

    She also rejected the prospect of cooperation with any party in the event that no party emerged from the next general elections with a self-sufficient majority.

    PASOK

    On his part, high-ranking PASOK deputy and former minister Michalis Chrysochoidis flatly rejected the KKE's accusations as a "joke in poor taste".

    In a separate interview, he said that not only did PASOK not 'control' any mass media, but on the contrary, has been "attacked" by the media in the years it has been in the opposition.

    He posed a question to the KKE leader on why she does not "exercise criticism on the state television, which is now fully controlled by ND", and called on the KKE leader to "name which media are controlled by PASOK".

    Chrysochoidis said the KKE looked upon PASOK as a "reservoir from which it can generate the few, albeit, percentages that will enable it to remain in the country's political life", and conceded that "there is no front" between the KKE and ND "in the sense of cooperation".

    Referring to the left, he described it as "very elderly", and accused Papariga of "appearing to care only about maintaining the status quo, an economic and social reality that is discerned by increasing inequalities and the new social injustice".

    Asked whether PASOK could cooperate with the KKE if the main opposition party won the elections with a "marginal self-sufficient majority", he replied that he did not think there was "any prospect in that direction".

    Regarding LA.OS, he said that party founder and leader George Karatzaferis, a current Euro-MP and former ND deputy, "expresses a singular type of populism mixed with a singular type of nationalism". However, he said he did not consider Karatzaferis to be a Greek version of Jean-Marie Le Pen or J?rg Haider, but that he "simply expresses people's aversion to some aspects of politics".

    Both interviews were published in the Sunday edition of the Athens daily "Vima".


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