PM under pressure to take action

Under the shadow of burgeoning allegations that senior Socialist officials were involved in inappropriate dealings with a businessman with strong party connections, Prime Minister Costas Simitis is planning corrective action, government sources said yesterday. Tomorrow, the PM is due to meet with his top advisers and the issue of allegations by publisher Giorgos Kouris – whose newspaper, the Avriani, has for decades provided staunch backing for PASOK – is expected to predominate. Sources said PASOK officials are pressing Simitis to introduce reforms within the party and the government to counteract the negative publicity from the Avriani campaign – which led to the April 15 dismissal of Deputy Public Order Minister Vangelis Malesios, who had been living rent-free in a flat owned by a PASOK-supporting public contractor. Meanwhile, conservative former PM Constantine Mitsotakis charged yesterday that the government is too engrossed in its own «scandals» to handle public affairs. «Mr Simitis is harming the country, and must go as soon as possible,» he said.