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Athens News Agency: News in English, 08-01-31

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Koukodimos becomes independent

  • [01] Koukodimos becomes independent

    Embattled New Democracy (ND) deputy Costas Koukodimos on Thursday announced that he was leaving the party's Parliamentary group and will become an independent in the 300-MP legislature, while stressing, however, that he continues to back the ruling party.

    Koukodimos is the latest high-profile individual to come under scrutiny as a result of extended political fall-out from the ongoing Zachopoulos affair. Specifically, Koukodimos, a former long-jump champion, was called by an investigating magistrate this week to answer questions on whether he acted as a "go between" or attempted any mediation between a well-known newspaper publisher and TV journalist (Makis Triantafyllopoulos) and the head of the financial crimes unit, the former SDOE.

    Koukodimos has adamantly stated that he did nothing wrong.

    "For several days now a determined, harsh and unfair attack has been underway against my person, an attack that has been extended to my political party, to which I proudly belong," the Pieria prefecture MP said.

    "Until this painful, for me, situation ends for good, I feel the need to become an independent so that whatever is said against me does not reflect on my party, whose political policies I will continue to unreservedly support," his letter to Parliament President Dimitris Sioufas read.

    ND party Parliamentary Group Secretary General Yiannis Tragakis said later that the party's Parliamentary Group is "strong because it is solid and it is based on the Greeks' verdict".

    "Mr. Koukodimos communicated with me before submitting his letter to the Parliament President and informed me of his intention. I wish for the full confirmation of the assurances that the deputy is providing once again. The Parliamentary Group of New Democracy is strong because it is solid and it is based on the Greeks' verdict," Tragakis said in his statement.

    Government spokesman, opposition

    Government Spokesman Theodoros Roussopoulos said that Koukodimos "has taken his decision."

    "Deputy Costas Koukodimos has taken his decision. The Government is proceeding unshakeably with the implementation of its work, for which it received a strong popular mandate recently," Roussopoulos said in his statement.

    ND Central Committee Secretary Lefteris Zagoritis said that "according to the party's charter, all the party capacities and activities emanating from his (Koukodimos') post are lifted by right."

    Main opposition PASOK party spokesman Yiannis Ragoussis said that "the theatrical performance is continuing. The independence of Koukodimos is what the 'journalistic confidentiality' of (Prime Minister Costas Karamnlis' press office chief Yiannis) Adrianos was. The Greek people are indignant. Enough is enough."

    An announcement by the Coalition (Synaspismos) said that "the government of Mr. Karamanlis has now lost all moral support to continue the governance of the country. It is important that the trend which can lead to a new majority is strengthened, so that the country can emerge from the deep crisis in which it has become involved."

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