Greece: Socialists looking for new political identity

Pasok conference opens today in Athens

06 July, 10:21

(ANSAmed) - ATHENS, JULY 6 - Greece's Socialist party Pasok is facing a major political crisis after being defeated at national elections. Following a major victory at the polls in 2009, the party was forced to take some very conservative political decisions in order to keep Greece in the eurozone and obtain EU aid to bail the country out of its crisis, partly caused by some of its political leaders.

Today under the leadership of Evangelos Venizelos, who took the helm almost a year ago succeeding Giorgos Papandreou, Pasok is looking for a new political identity.

Venizelos is working in this direction and has called a party conference starting today which will be open to other political forces, namely the Democratic Left, its government ally, and the Greens who were left out of Parliament after the last election.

A relevant fact is that both parties have accepted to take part in the conference and will be represented by high ranking officials.

Though Venizelos' intentions are still not clear, he appears to be planning a radical change to a party which has been associated with almost all of the country's problems.

Venizelos himself has often spoken about the need to overhaul an old and anachronistic Pasok. Indeed one of the first measures he took after elections on June 17 was to dissolve all of the party's governing bodies. He is currently only working with the new parliamentary group.

Pasok's problems don't have an easy solution and everything could happen in the future, many analysts have said.

Several leading members of the party including former ministers in all Pasok governments from the 1980s until the last government of Lucas Papademos, have refused Venizelos' proposal to become part of the new party leadership that will bring Pasok to its national congress next autumn, provided it takes place.

Today Venizelos will open the conference by reading a statement on Pasok's reorganization, which he will say must begin 'now' and end with the Congress which will inaugurate a campaign of new party memberships.

Officials with the Democratic Left and the Greens are scheduled to talk after Venizelos.



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