Karatzaferis lashes out at ex-MPs deserting LAOS

The leader of the Popular Orthodox Rally (LAOS), Giorgos Karatzaferis, has referred to a former MP who quit his party to join New Democracy as a ?rat? and suggested that conservative leader Antonis Samaras went back on his attempt to draw Karatzaferis into his party because of fears that the LAOS chief would outshine him.

LAOS member Kyriakos Velopoulos became the fourth former deputy to quit the nationalist party to join ND this week. The others were Thanos Plevris, Giorgos Anatolakis and Pavlos Markaris.

?We have to find what unites us and leave what divides us behind,? said Velopoulos.

?He was a snitch, a rodent and a rat,? said Karatzaferis of his former deputy, who he

LAOS narrowly failed to make the 3 percent threshold to enter Parliament on May 6 and, ahead of new polls on June 17, Samaras has made a bid to form a broader center-right front to give New Democracy a better chance of coming first in next month?s vote.

Karatzaferis suggested that Samaras had asked the LAOS leader to join ND with all 16 of his former MPs. However, he claimed the deal collapsed when a survey showed that Karatzaferis had an 81 percent approval rating among ND supporters. ?I know that Mr Samaras is extremely scared,? said Kartazaferis.

The LAOS leader also suggested that US and Israeli embassies in Greece had been concerned by his efforts to build ties with Russia and were seeking to ?destroy LAOS.?