Greece The Decline of PASOK
Sources: The Library of Congress Country Studies; CIA World Factbook
In early 1989, PASOK modified the reinforced proportional representation structure to reduce the likelihood that the first-ranking party could gain an absolute majority of seats in the Assembly--a clear indication that PASOK expected to lose the election to ND.
The most important political events between 1988 and the mid-1989 election, however, were the serious illness of Papandreou and scandals and allegations of corruption within the PASOK government. In August 1988, the prime minister underwent multiple heart bypass surgery, following which he has been in frail health. His personal life also underwent a major change when he divorced his well-liked American-born wife of many years and, in the summer of 1989, married Dimitra Liani, a flight attendant some thirty-five years his junior.
Of the many scandals that emerged in Greek politics in the late 1980s, by far the most notorious was the so-called Koskotas affair. In 1986 Georgios Koskotas, an émigré who had spent several years in New York City, became governor and main stockholder of the privately owned Bank of Crete in Athens. During the next two years, Koskotas spent huge amounts of money building a large publishing empire that included major Athens newspapers and the most popular soccer team in Greece. Koskotas finally overstepped his financial limits in mid-1988 when several publicly owned companies, in an apparently orchestrated move, transferred their accounts to his bank at below-market interest rates. At about the same time, the Assembly passed a law that clearly eased matters for Koskotas in dealing with judicial inquiries. Under growing pressure and with his empire collapsing, Koskotas finally fled the country in early 1989 and was captured in the United States. Koskotas then confirmed from his United States prison cell the repeated allegations in the Greek press that he had paid PASOK large sums of money, some of which had gone directly to a close aide of the prime minister.
Data as of December 1994
NOTE: The information regarding Greece on this page is re-published from The Library of Congress Country Studies and the CIA World Factbook. No claims are made regarding the accuracy of Greece The Decline of PASOK information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about Greece The Decline of PASOK should be addressed to the Library of Congress and the CIA.