Graft gives ND a new rallying call

Following up on a high-profile warning by senior judges that corruption is rampant in Greece’s public sector, opposition leader Costas Karamanlis yesterday fired off a broadside against Prime Minister Costas Simitis, whom he accused of «providing the political groundwork» for graft. The conservative New Democracy party leader said a call on December 8 by Supreme Court prosecutor Evangelos Kroustallakis for an anti-corruption «crusade» had been «a cry of anguish at the extent and consequences of graft in our country.» Karamanlis claimed Simitis «is not only making no effort to fight corruption, but is also providing the political groundwork for its survival and legalisation.» He accused the ruling socialists of passing laws that have allowed the creation of «an oligopoly in the public works sector that is destroying healthy competitiveness.» Government spokesman Christos Protopappas rejoined that the ND leader «is just trying to create an impression.» «Our view is that corruption must be fought,» he added. Yesterday, Interior Minister Costas Skandalidis discussed the matter with Kroustallakis.

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