NEWS

Angry denials of PASOK ‘suspects’

The government and ruling PASOK party reacted furiously yesterday to a newspaper’s publication of a document purporting to claim that 124 leading members of the party, including its late founder and former Prime Minister Andreas Papandreou, had ties with the November 17 terrorist group. The publisher of the pro-PASOK daily Karfi, Nikos Kakaounakis, said the report had been drawn up in 1988 by close aides of Constantine Mitsotakis (who was prime minister of a New Democracy government from 1990-93). The report’s purported organizer, Nikos Gryllakis, called this «an unbelievable lie.» Mitsotakis denied any knowledge. Prime Minister Costas Simitis said on Saturday that during his six years in office he had never seen any lists of terrorist suspects. Calling it «the report of shame» Karfi said that this was the basis of «lists» of suspects presented by former US officials. «These stories are ridiculous, but they are also wretched. We cannot waste our time with them. We have the country’s problems to deal with,» government spokesman Christos Protopappas said. PASOK’s general secretary, Costas Laliotis, declared: «Those who drew up and circulated this inside and outside Greece should feel shame, as well as those who adopted and used it over the years, with the selfish aim of harming PASOK, (its predecessor) PAK and the struggle against the dictatorship.» Afterward, Vartholomaios met Iran’s President Mohammad Khatami. No statement on their talks was issued immediately.