NEWS

PM tells ex-king to get a name

Prime Minister Costas Simitis said yesterday he was not aware of any plans by Greece’s former monarch to return to Greece to live, but he added that according to a European Court ruling the former king was required to declare a surname for his Greek passport to be renewed. The former king, Constantine, has denied a press report that he was planning to return to Greece in 2002. He has also refused to take up a surname. Greek officials refer to him with the surname Glucksburg. I have not said I would move back to Greece in 2002 and I have made no attempt to find a home, his London office said Saturday. The daily To Vima claimed last week that Constantine would return to Greece using his Danish passport, which identifies him as Constantine, former king of the Greeks. Simitis said the only thing he was aware of was that the former king was claiming 200 billion drachmas from the Greek people as compensation for former royal property. Our country’s legislation is clear and in line with the European framework, Simitis said. The European Court decided in 1998 that Mr. Glucksburg is required to choose a surname and with that to be issued a passport with which he will travel. Simitis is expected to carry out a major Cabinet reshuffle after the congress on October 11-14 and he was asked to comment about this. There is always interest in who will play what role, but I believe that this is not something that interests the people, he said. People are interested in the government doing its job well and this is where the government will be judged.