ND denies it has plans to work with LAOS

Government spokesman Evangelos Antonaros ruled out yesterday the possibility of New Democracy working together with the right-wing Popular Orthodox Rally (LAOS) before or after the next general election. «There is no question of any cooperation,» he told reporters. «That is clear and I have nothing to add.» Speculation that the two parties might work together was sparked by LAOS leader Giorgos Karatzaferis’s decision to publicly back Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis last week after the premier held talks with all party leaders to discuss the economic crisis. Although Karamanlis has repeatedly stated that he has no intention of working with Karatzaferis, the possibility that the next general election could result in a hung parliament has led many to believe that he may have to consider cooperating with LAOS. Much of the speculation has been fueled by Karatzaferis, who recently said that «not all flirtations lead to engagements and weddings, some lead to marriage but others just remain flirtations.» Meanwhile, PASOK is experiencing a flirtation of its own as the party’s leader George Papandreou prepares to meet tomorrow with his predecessor and former Prime Minister Costas Simitis. The mood within the Socialist camp has been buoyed by news of tomorrow’s meeting amid speculation that Papandreou will invite Simitis to return to the fold. Simitis currently sits in Parliament as an independent after being ousted by Papandreou. However, sources said that Papandreou might not make the offer straight away.

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