Storm brews over lottery report

An Athens prosecutor yesterday presented Parliament with a report alleging that the behavior of a Cabinet minister and a private lottery consortium harmed the public interest. Prosecutor Georgios Gerakis forwarded the report to Parliament Speaker Apostolos Kaklamanis, asking the house to examine whether former Deputy Finance Minister – and current Agriculture Minister – Giorgos Drys had committed the misdemeanor of breach of duty and complicity in the breach of duty, in connection with the «Xysto» instant scratch lottery. The report found that the consortium handling the lottery, State Instant Lottery, 60-percent-owned by electronics mogul Socrates Kokkalis’s Intralot, was responsible for irregularities regarding the distribution of Xysto winnings, the renewal of the lottery contract in 1998 and the misuse of advertising funds. Government spokesman Christos Protopappas accused Gerakis of political motivation in presenting his report just before Sunday’s elections. Opposition New Democracy charged the government with «showing contempt for Greek institutions.»