Ex-defense minister on new gov’t, arms procurements

Former Defense Minister Panos Beglitis says he will give the interim government his vote of confidence on Wednesday despite objecting to the involvement of nationalist Popular Orthodox Rally (LAOS) in the administration.

Beglitis told Skai TV on Monday he expected the new government, which consists of 49 ministers and deputy ministers, to be more flexible.

Beglitis also dismissed reports in the international media that his sudden replacement of Greece?s armed forces chiefs two weeks ago had anything to do with potential military coup.

?The armed forces abide by the law,? said Beglitis, who added that reports in France of a potential coup were inspired by the ex-minister?s decision to freeze the purchase of French frigates.

?The relentless attack had a particular target because I stopped the negotiations over the French frigates,? he said. ?These rumors were made up in French secret intelligence offices.?

Beglitis went on say that during his time at the ministry he attempted to break up ?underground systems? operated by PASOK and New Democracy that were linked to arms procurements.

?I tried to smash all this,? he said.