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Athens News Agency: News in English, 08-01-10

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

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

CONTENTS

  • [01] LAOS leader interview

  • [01] LAOS leader interview

    Popular Orthodox Rally (LAOS) founder and leader George Karatzaferis referred to the current political climate in the country as morbid, speaking during an interview with the ANA-MPA. Referring to the Zachopoulos blackmailing affair, he blamed the government for its actions, while he also commented on two deputies of his party, recipients of a letter delivered to them by a lawyer allegedly involved in the affair, who attempted to commit suicide on Jan. 4. Karatzaferis said he regards the formation of coalition governments as most likely, while he does not rule out his party's participation in such cooperation. Moreover, he referred to repeated "poor choices" by government officials, accusing it of mishandling the blackmail affair against former culture ministry general secretary Christos Zachopoulos. He stressed that "childish mistakes" have been made, causing irreparable damage to state's dignity and credibility. Karatzaferis said two party deputies, Adonis Georgiadis and Athanassios Plevris, were the recipients of a letter delivered to them by lawyer Iraklis Koutelidas, whom he identified "as a main opposition PASOK official" represented by a former inner cabinet secretary during a previous PASOK government. Koutelidas, himself, was injured last week when he threw himsef at the wheels of a truck a few days ago charging that he was being used as a scapegoat in the Zachopoulos case. The LA.OS president added that the day after the suicide attempt, the two MPs had given a press conference on the incident and were advised by him to abstain from any populist exploitation of the issue. He referred to the "redistribution of wealth" and the reconsideration of the country's foreign policy as his party's priorities. Karatzaferis stated that he backs the redistribution of income and wealth to tackle existing inequalities and commented that the government has rejected a proposal according to which, part of the GDP should be reserved for wealth redistribution purposes and be given to the financially weaker. The LA.OS president said that the current foreign policy has to be reconsidered based on the expressed interests in the wider region. He characterized the foreign policy, which is being followed blindly by certain important political figures across the political spectrum, as infertile and warned that it could cause irreparable national damage in the future. On the likelihood of coalition governments in Greece, Karatzaferis stated that they will have to be broad-based to avoid identifying a party with its leader following the example of France, Germany, Sweden, Austria, Italy and other European states. He added that he is not against coalition governments and referring to the new election law, he commented that it is undemocratic to reserve a 50 seat bonus for the "first past the post" party that can easily be raised to a 60 or 100 seat bonus in the future. Caption: ANA-MPA file photo of Popular Orthodox Rally (LAOS) founder and leader George Karatzaferis
    Athens News Agency: News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article
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