No Trojan horse in betting

The government insisted yesterday that it would ensure there is no conflict of interest arising from the proposed inclusion of Greek soccer matches in the odds betting game Pame Stoichima because Socrates Kokkalis, who leads the joint operating company Intralot, is also president of Greek champions Olympiakos. «There will strictly be no conflict of interest and this will be ensured by the responsible body, comprising legal experts,» government spokesman Theodoros Roussopoulos told reporters. Other government sources also insisted that any «Trojan horse» arrangement that included merely the nominal (but not effective) withdrawal of Kokkalis from his executive post in Intralot would be not be accepted. The issue resurfaced after Kokkalis’s meeting on Wednesday with Sports Minister Giorgos Orfanos, which was widely interpreted as a prelude to the inclusion of Greek teams in Pame Stoichima, operated by state-managed firm OPAP. Main opposition PASOK party deputies called on Roussopoulos to clarify why the government has changed its pre-election stance on the issue, when it rejected the inclusion of Greek matches in Pame Stoichima.