Greek Prime Minister Andreas Papandreou has launched a new attack on the United States, accusing Washington of holding "hostage" a fugitive banker at the center of a scandal crippling his Socialist government.

It was the third time in the past week Papandreou has alleged the Americans are behind the scandal surrounding runaway Greek-American banker George Koskotas."I would call him a hostage in the United States," the prime minister said of Koskotas in English Sunday on Cable News Network.

Koskotas fled from Greece in November after being charged with embezzling over $200 million from the private Bank of Crete, which he then owned.