SYRIZA courts PASOK

Calls are grow­ing among leftists for rul­ing party to drop ANEL part­ner­ship

Kathimerini English - - Front Page -

The cracks that have ap­peared in the coali­tion gov­ern­ment com­pris­ing SYRIZA and In­de­pen­dent Greeks (ANEL) have prompted calls for the left­ist party to re­assess its po­lit­i­cal part­ner­ships ahead of the coun­try’s post-bailout era.

Th­ese calls got louder last week af­ter the spat be­tween SYRIZA MP and Par­lia­ment Speaker Nikos Vout­sis with ANEL leader and De­fense Min­is­ter Panos Kam­menos over the coun­try’s Or­tho­dox Chris­tian iden­tity.

De­spite Kam­menos’s in­sis­tence on Thurs­day that his party will none­the­less stay the course with SYRIZA, his en­thu­si­asm was not shared by the left­ist party’s se­nior-rank­ing of­fi­cials, who ap­pear to be grow­ing wary of ANEL’s ul­tra­na­tion­al­ist agenda.

This was made clear yes­ter­day when SYRIZA party sec­re­tary Panayi­o­tis Ri­gas said that a “line must be drawn” and that ev­ery­one must de­cide on which side of the line they will stand.

His com­ments echoed a grow­ing sen­ti­ment that the co­hab­i­ta­tion be­tween the two par­ties has run its course, as the bailout poli­cies they pledged to see through to­gether start giv­ing way to a so­cial agenda that will un­doubt­edly be­come a source of fric­tion be­tween SYRIZA and the ul­tra­na­tion­al­ists of ANEL.

To the end of form­ing new part­ner­ships to push through a more pro­gres­sive agenda, Mer­chant Ma­rine Min­is­ter Panayi­o­tis Kourou- blis yes­ter­day called on socialist PASOK to join ranks with SYRIZA to form a com­mon front against op­po­si­tion con­ser­va­tive New Democ­racy.

“The [PASOK] party that was founded by An­dreas Pa­pan­dreou can­not be­come a crutch of the harsh ne­olib­eral poli­cies of [New Democ­racy leader] Kyr­i­akos Mit­so­takis,” Kourou­b­lis said, adding that the only choice for PASOK is to “form a rad­i­cal anti-ne­olib­eral front in co­op­er­a­tion with SYRIZA.”

His call was promptly re­jected by PASOK, but it showed that SYRIZA of­fi­cials are not averse to mak­ing their doubts public over the coali­tion’s fu­ture.

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