NEWS

Gryllakis claims fuel party bickering

Officials of the country’s two main parties continued to trade accusations yesterday over the spying revelations of a retired general and close aide to former Prime Minister Constantine Mitsotakis. Opposition New Democracy leader Costas Karamanlis attacked PASOK General Secretary Costas Laliotis for desperately trying to create artificial divisions to cover the government’s poor record. Laliotis replied that Karamanlis chose to be silent over the days and deeds of Mitsotakis and to baselessly attack the government’s record in order to divert attention from the conservatives’ own problems. Speaking on a TV show on Tuesday, Nikos Gryllakis alleged that in 1988-89 he had had contacts with CIA officials who told him they wanted to help Mitsotakis’s New Democracy party win the elections and oust the ruling PASOK and its leader, the late Andreas Papandreou. PASOK, mired in scandal, lost the June 1989 elections. Papandreou was indicted but narrowly acquitted by a special court in January 1992, and went on to regain power in October 1993. Gryllakis, who is about to publish his memoirs, has also claimed, among other things, that Russian officials used him as an intermediary to offer nuclear weapons to Greece after the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991. Mitsotakis has denied the facts but has refrained from attacking his former trusted aide. c Meanwhile, the 15 EU leaders agreed to deploy a force of between 3,000 and 4,000 soldiers to Afghanistan as part of an international peacekeeping force. The force will be deployed by December 22. All 15 countries will sent contingents.