Simitis sup­ports Venizelos over new move­ment

Kathimerini English - - Front Page -

For­mer Prime Min­is­ter Costas Simitis yes­ter­day backed PA­SOK leader Evan­ge­los Venizelos’s pro­posal to cre­ate a new cen­ter-left party with the So­cial­ists at its heart.

The two men met a day after Venizelos held talks with another ex-PA­SOK leader, George Pa­pan­dreou. Un­like Simitis, Pa­pan­dreou ex­pressed op­po­si­tion to Venizelos’s plan for PA­SOK to be in­cor­po­rated within a broader group as it was when it ran as part of the Olive Tree al­liance in the May Euro­pean Par­lia­ment elec­tions. Venizelos is hop­ing the new move­ment, which will be called Demo­cratic Align­ment, will hold its first congress in Jan­uary.

Ac­cord­ing to sources, Simitis ex­pressed his support for the move dur­ing the meet­ing. A state­ment is­sued by the ex-premier’s of­fice after the one-hour talks said that he sees the cre­ation of Demo­cratic Align­ment as a “sig­nif­i­cant step.”

“Mr Simitis un­der­lined the need to in­ten­sify the ef­fort to co­op­er­ate with all the move­ments and peo­ple that could con­trib­ute to the cre­ation of the strong force nec­es­sary for po­lit­i­cal sta­bil­ity and the fu­ture of the coun­try,” added the state­ment.

Simitis’s com­ments are seen as an invitation to for­mer PA­SOK mem­bers that have so far shown re­luc­tance to be part of a new ef­fort, such as for­mer Ed­u­ca­tion Min­is­ter Anna Dia­man­topoulou, and to oth­ers, such as for­mer Demo­cratic Left MP Spyros Lyk­oudis, who are in­volved in other ini­tia­tives at the mo­ment.

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