Venizelos, Pa­pan­dreou agree to dis­agree

Kathimerini English - - Front Page -

PA­SOK leader Evan­ge­los Venizelos is due to meet for­mer Prime Min­is­ter Costas Simitis to­day as he con­tin­ues his ef­forts to gen­er­ate a greater sense of unity in his party after hold­ing talks with his pre­de­ces­sor George Pa­pan­dreou yes­ter­day.

How­ever, the meet­ing be­tween the deputy prime min­is­ter and the ex-premier high­lighted the dif­fer­ences of opin­ion be­tween the two politi­cians, de­spite Venizelos de­scrib­ing the talks as “friendly and pos­i­tive.”

Sources said that Pa­pan­dreou stressed his dis­ap­point­ment with the gov­ern­ment’s stance over the last few weeks in relation to the troika. The ex-prime min­is­ter also ex­pressed con­cern at the slow pace of re­forms.

How­ever, a key point of dis­agree­ment be­tween the two men is Venizelos’s plans for PA­SOK to take on a new form. After gain­ing 8 per­cent in the Euro­pean Par­lia­ment elec­tions in May as part of a cen­ter-left al­liance whose full name was Olive Tree-Demo­cratic Align­ment, Venizelos in­di­cated he would like PA­SOK to be at the heart of a new move­ment that would go by the name of Demo­cratic Align­ment. Pa­pan­dreou, whose fa­ther An­dreas founded PA­SOK, is against this idea and raised the is­sue yes­ter­day.

Venizelos said in a state­ment that Pa­pan­dreou “has some ideas” re­gard­ing PA­SOK that would be “taken into ac­count.”

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