NEWS

PM vows to push transparency

Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis yesterday pledged to promote transparency, calling on opposition parties to join the government in a dialogue aimed at «amending» a controversial law granting MPs immunity from prosecution. Speaking after a Cabinet meeting, Karamanlis vowed to «seek the greatest level of consensus possible and promote reforms backed by all parties.» The appeal prompted stern criticism from main opposition PASOK, with spokesperson Giorgos Papaconstantinou dismissing the Cabinet meeting as «cosmetic» and accusing the government of hypocrisy. «Mr Karamanlis is mocking Greek citizens. He talks about dialogue in Parliament, which he has already shut,» Papaconstantinou remarked. But Karamanlis, who said a new wave of reforms to the economy, education and other sectors will be implemented after the June 7 European Parliament elections, insisted his government was on the right track. «Faced with sterile party political rhetoric, nihilism and irresponsibility, we chose the road of responsibility… to serve the interests of all Greeks,» the premier said, adding that «others decided to serve their party and personal interests.» PASOK and other opposition parties are expected to turn up the heat on ruling New Democracy ahead of next month’s polls, focusing on reports of an impending economic recession and a series of scandals, including the Vatopedi land swap and Siemens affair, which have returned to the fore. The latest Public Issue poll conducted for Skai shows PASOK garnering 26.5 percent of votes in Euro elections, 5.5 percentage points ahead of ND, with 21 percent. The Ecologist Greens follow with 6.5 percent of votes, the Communist Party with 6 percent and the Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA) with 5.5 percent.