NEWS

Kammenos in rebellious mood

The leader of the fast-rising nationalist party Independent Greeks, Panos Kammenos, declared on Wednesday that he wants to nationalize the Bank of Greece and drive International Monetary Fund representative Poul Thomsen out of the country.

Speaking to Skai TV, Kammenos said that Greece has to reject the terms of the new bailout it agreed with the IMF, the European Central Bank and the European Commission in February. He said the fact that Greece?s new bonds are written under UK law would lead to public and private Greek assets being seized.

?If during the next month we do not get rid of Thomsen and his employees, the repossessions of homes will begin because of UK law,? said Kammenos, who earlier this week drew fire from Greek shipowners for suggesting that their vessels could be seized by Greece?s creditors.

Kammenos also said he planned to renationalize the Bank of Greece and create a Greek investment bank that would protect the country?s property from being seized by its lenders.

The Athens MP founded Independent Greeks after being ejected from New Democracy in February for voting against the new loan deal. The nationalist party, which has made effective use of social media, garnered 11 percent of the vote in the most recent survey by Public Issue.

Kammenos stresses his credentials as a rebel and pointed to the transparency of his party?s finances as evidence that Independent Greeks operates differently to the established political parties. ?Donors can either get a coupon with a tax office stamp or give up to 100 euros via PayPal,? he said. ?We will give all the donations back after the elections.?

Even during his ND days, though, Kammenos launched attacks on former PASOK leader and Prime Minister George Papandreou and his family, alleging they profited financially from the ?preplanned? handling of the crisis. He repeated these claims on Wednesday, prompting a response from Papandreou.

The ex-PM accused Kammenos of telling ?constant lies? and of engaging in demagoguery. Papandreou also rejected claims that Russia had been willing to give Greece a 22-billion-euro loan before it turned to the EU and IMF for a bailout in 2010.

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