NEWS

Arafat to attend PASOK’s congress

Yasser Arafat, president of the Palestinian Authority, meets opposition leader Costas Karamanlis shortly after his arrival in Athens yesterday evening. Arafat is one of the international politicians invited to attend the ruling socialists’ sixth party congress that starts today at the Maroussi Olympic Stadium, and will end on Sunday. Karamanlis told journalists that he and Arafat had agreed that the ‘just struggle of the Palestinian people’ cannot be used as a pretext to legitimize terrorist activities. Arafat also met Communist Party leader Aleka Papariga. The congress was initially supposed to take place in March 2002. However, a series of policy reverses for the government earlier this year, notably on the reform of social security and the continuing opposition by party stalwarts to Simitis’s reformist policies, led the latter to demand an earlier date in order to clear the air.