Sizopoulos has a chance not to be missed
E DII TO RII A L
One of the better attributes of Marinos Sizopoulos is that he listens and he smiles. Whether he is genuine or not, this is something that will determine the future of his own political career, as well as that of the fledgling socialist party EDEK that has struggled in recent years with an identity crisis and a falling voter count.
However, the party’s strength seems to have stabilised at just below the 10% benchmark, undecided if it is a small political voice or if it can be taken seriously.
Gone are the days when orator-founder Vassos Lyssarides used to drum up popular support with his fiery speeches that seconded none other than fellow progressive leader Andreas Papandreou, founder of the Pasok movement that has been convicted to the doldrums of Greek politics due to its rigidity, corruption scandals and lack of vision.
EDEK was never a major player in the island’s politics, which is why it has been in bed as a junior coalition partner with almost all groupings, and also why its labour arm, DEOK, has been shunned by the dinosaurs of the trades union sector, centre-right SEK and communist PEO.
Sizopoulos has often
of parliament and has tried to inject a breath of fresh air into the politically-stale party, attempting on many occasions to play a leading role and not sit on the sidelines. But his brash, some say arrogant, attitude is something he needs to work on if he wants EDEK to ride the popularity wave that Syriza so cleverly manipulated in Greece.
The good thing is that he has an opinion about the economy, society, health and the dreaded Cyprob, and must appeal to the younger generation of frustrated non-voters.
The people of Cyprus are fed up of the Dodos that run the place, namely DISY, AKEL and DIKO. Then again, smaller voices such as the European Party (Evroko), the Greens and the Citizens’ Alliance have yet to prove their worth and gain enough popularity in order to be taken seriously.
The foundations of EDEK are strong, but have collected dust in recent years. Their membership is loyal, but is ageing, which is where new blood comes in. Sizopoulos has been granted a 15-month mission to raise the image of the socialist party in time for the parliamentary elections, where he needs to compete with the various platforms and collections of disgruntled ordinary folk to earn the party the place it deserves.
And the best way to do that is to be frank and truthful. Nobody expects anything else of a young politician.