As talks between Greece and Deutsche Telekom on the sale of a stake in OTE telecom draw to a close, the conservative government hit back at criticism from opposition parties over the deal, accusing them of trying to foment economic instability. The government has been in talks with the German telecom group over the sale of a 3 percent stake in state-controlled OTE in a deal that will also involve handing over the incumbent’s management. Government spokesman Theodoros Roussopoulos said yesterday that PASOK leader George Papandreou is criticizing the deal despite not being aware of what it entails, since it has yet to be made public. «One can thus appreciate the credibility and seriousness of his words and actions,» said Roussopoulos. The head of the Socialists had described the likely OTE sale as being a scandal at the expense of the country and threatened to take back control of the company if PASOK regains power at the next elections. «The potential buyers should know this. We are not trying to scare them. We are informing them in advance,» said Papandreou in his first public comments since his recent bicycle accident. A joint ministerial committee consisting of officials from the Finance and Transport ministries is scheduled to meet this morning on OTE and is likely to announce news on the deal.