Debate in parties heats up

Prime Minister Costas Simitis is today expected to put an end to rumors that he may be leaving PASOK’s leadership, following two days of intense discussions after Foreign Minister George Papandreou’s statement that he will «not shirk» his responsibility when the time comes. Simitis will be meeting with close aides today and is expected to make clear his intentions to lead PASOK in the next elections. Meanwhile, the conservative New Democracy party, which is leading by about 8 percent in polls, was in turmoil yesterday after comments by its honorary chairman, Constantine Mitsotakis. The former prime minister said in an interview that «tough measures will be taken» by any future government with regard to the economy. «Miracles do not happen without change, without dismissals and without changes to the labor regime,» Mitsotakis said. This was too candid for the opposition which says that it will not choose layoffs but development instead. Government spokesman Christos Protopapas declared: «This is ND’s secret agenda.»