NEWS

Kokkalis spy link in 1986 is reported

The prosecution of businessman Socrates Kokkalis on felony charges on Tuesday and the revelations that have followed have become a major issue in Greek politics and in the news media of Greece and beyond. The ruling PASOK party reacted furiously to a report in Kathimerini yesterday that a German parliamentary committee had investigated proposals by the East German security authorities in 1985 that Kokkalis funnel 2 percent of the annual total trade between the two countries to the Greek party. PASOK accused Kathimerini and another paper, Hora, of «repeating and adopting without question the groundless claims of secret agents.» In a statement, it added: «It is clear that some centers are trying to slander PASOK and to undermine the smooth political life of the country with issues that have no relation with truth and reality.» In addition to the findings of the German parliamentary report in 1998 that Kokkalis was a secret agent of the East German Ministry of State Security from 1963 to 1968, the Greek service of the German radio service Deutsche Welle reported yesterday that «From documents of the East German secret services it is certified that the Greek businessman Socrates Kokkalis was a collaborator of the espionage service of the Stasi (the secret police), at least from the beginning of 1986 to the beginning of 1987 and was codenamed Krokus.» At the time, Kokkalis was rapidly establishing his Intracom company as the dominant force in telecom supplies in Greece and he was in close contact with prominent politicians across the ideological spectrum. It was during this same period that Kokkalis reportedly funded the ruling PASOK party, opposition New Democracy and the Communist Party, with a ratio of 10:5:1, Deutsche Welle reported, quoting Stasi documents. «In the first document dated January 24, 1986, Lt. Gen. Kleine stated that he was especially satisfied with the first information he had received from Krokus and asked the service to have Krokus seconded to his department, irrespective of whether he would continue further cooperation with the Stasi in the commercial sector,» Deutsche Welle reported. A second document, dated February 2, 1987, mentioned the reaction by the right wing in Greece to the close relationship between Kokkalis’s Intracom and the East German company Elektronik (whose manager was Kokkalis’s go-between with the secret service apparatus in the 1960s), which the Stasi blamed on the West German company Siemens. This document refers to Kokkalis’s support to the three Greek parties during the European Parliament elections of 1986. «However, it is clarified that the party which Kokkalis funded consistently is PASOK,» the report said. «These two documents show Krokus’s cooperation with the Stasi in 1986-1987, without, naturally, illustrating exactly the precise contents of the information provided. In conclusion, we must note that the archives of the Stasi espionage service for 1989-1990 have been destroyed almost completely,» the report concluded.