NEWS

Dance divides ND, PASOK

The government and opposition party yesterday had their worst skirmish over foreign policy yet – over a solitary dance performed by PASOK leader George Papandreou three years ago when he was foreign minister. Responding to PASOK criticism of the New Democracy government’s allegedly drifting and making concessions to Turkey, government spokesman Theodoros Roussopoulos snapped: «It is true that Mr Karamanlis did not dance the zeibekiko in front of his Turkish counterpart. Obviously our approach to foreign policy is different.» Roussopoulos was referring to the recent meeting of prime ministers Costas Karamanlis and Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Sarajevo last week and a dance by Papandreou in front of a group that included then-Turkish Foreign Minister Ismail Cem. The two ministers were widely credited with improving relations between their two countries. The zeibekiko is an improvisation by a solitary dancer expressing deep emotion. Papandreou danced it on June 23, 2001, on the fifth anniversary of his father Andreas’s death.