US denies problem with Greek diplomat’s past

The US State Department yesterday denied that there was any problem in granting the new Greek ambassador to the country his accreditation – reportedly because he had been a left-wing activist during Greece’s military dictatorship. Questions were raised this week as to why Alexandros Mallias, who is due to replace the outgoing Giorgos Savvaidis, had not yet been given the all-clear to take up his new post by US authorities. Sources indicated that the US was unwilling to give him accreditation because his record indicated that he had been active in his opposition to the junta which ruled Greece between 1967 and 1974. However, this version of events was officially denied by the Greek Foreign Ministry, which indicated that there was nothing untoward about the time it was taking for the paperwork to be processed. This position was re-emphasized by government spokesman Theodoros Roussopoulos yesterday. When a journalist asked him whether it would have been disadvantageous for an aspiring diplomat to have actively participated against the dictatorship, Roussopoulos replied «quite the opposite.» The US State Department, meanwhile, said that there had been «no problem» and «no delay» in issuing Mallias his papers.

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