Prefect hopeful sparks wrangle

PASOK’s decision to appoint a Greek Muslim woman as a candidate to become Drama-Kavala-Xanthi prefect in northeastern Greece drew opposition from the local minister and religious leader over the weekend. Upon hearing that the Socialists had put forward 28-year-old Gulbeyaz Karahasan to stand in the October local elections, Macedonia-Thrace Minister Giorgos Kalatzis called on her to confirm that she was a Greek Muslim. He also queried whether Karahasan «will stand next to me during the March 25 celebrations.» March 25 marks the beginning of the Greek war of independence from Turkish rule. Bishop Anthimos of Thessaloniki was equally outspoken in his criticism of PASOK’s choice. «Inside me, I cannot accept this,» he said yesterday. Karahasan received the backing of Socialist leader George Papandreou and PASOK MPs. «All Greek men and women, regardless of religion, have equal rights and should be actively and equally involved in the country’s political life,» said party stalwart Evangelos Venizelos.