NEWS

PASOK plays down coalition row over scheme for homeless

PASOK remained tight-lipped on Monday about a row that broke out with its coalition partner, New Democracy, late on Monday after Prime Minister Antonis Samaras announced the creation of homeless shelters without consulting with the Socialist party.

Samaras said properties owned by the state would be turned into homeless shelters, where those without anywhere else to live could receive social and medical support. It is estimated that there may be as many as 30,000 homeless people in Greece.

Samaras’s announcement, however, was greeted by anger at PASOK headquarters because the coalition partner had not been told about the project. Sources said that Deputy Prime Minister Evangelos Venizelos called up Samaras to complain about the premier’s actions. He is also thought to have pointed out that PASOK officials in the Labor and Health ministries, which helped draw up the plans, were not asked to attend the meeting after which the scheme was made public.

There was no official comment on the row on Tuesday from PASOK but sources at the Socialist party said Venizelos and Samaras attributed the breakdown in communication to Health Minister Adonis Georgiadis and Labor Minister Yiannis Vroutsis.

The coalition party, however, did issue a statement describing the role that its representatives, Deputy Labor Minister Vassilis Kegeroglou and General Secretary for Welfare Efi Pegou, have played in drawing up plans to help homeless people.

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