New Democracy-SYRIZA-PASOK Conferences: Time for the parties to make decisions

New Democracy-SYRIZA-PASOK Conferences: Time for the parties to make decisions

The July 7th elections undoubtedly introduced a new political scene in Greece. In this context the parties, now that the period of adjustment to the new situation is over, proceed to their progress report and, of course, to the planning of their next steps, to the development of strategy and tactics.

Mitsotakis the ruler and the end of the tolerance period

The parliamentary majority of Kyriakos Mitsotakis’ New Democracy seems to be fulfuling its governmental duties for the time being, thus securing social acceptance; but internal conflicts have already begun to emerge. Today, the two themes of the Conference that will be held at the end of November have been disclosed. The first will be entitled “With national confidence we are winning the battles against populism” and the second will be entitled “Citizen Policy: We Answer the Challenges of the Modern World That Affect Our Lives”.

At the moment, the party’s leader and prime minister is not questioned by anyone – how could he anyway – and he seems to have total control. The question is whether he will decide to clash with ministers and Members who appear to be pushing their own agenda, causing discontent at the Maximos Mansion headquarters. Another headache in the government’s corner has to do with the contradictions between what the party declared as main opposition and what it states now as a government; regarding both the Prespa Agreement and, above all, the field of middle-class tax relief.

SYRIZA is facing a reform

At the same time, SYRIZA, after 4.5 adventurous years of governance, has changed a lot from the party which since 2012 has been pursuing a leading role in the political arena. From the radical left ideology and 4% of the votes, the party of Al. Tsipras became a ruling party, a fact which the election result made official, despite his defeat. The goal set by Al. Tsipras from the night of the elections is that SYRIZA matches its organizational forces with the electoral ones, that it becomes the main expressor of the left and progressive forces.

And while SYRIZA may gradually find its footing as the main opposition, the reform of the party will not be an easy task. The main challenge is that by the time of the Conference, probably in March 2020, the party members will have grown significantly. Since the elections more than 20,000 members have joined, either online or in local organizations. At the same time, it seeks to exercise programmatic opposition, defending the acquis of its governance.

Identity, ideology, party functioning and strategy will be the focus of the Conference and the intra-party debate. Left? Center-left? Centre? What is the role of τηε members? What is the program? These are some of the questions that are posed, along with the concerns. According to the former prime minister, the new SYRIZA will be the big left-leaning progressive party with strong eco-green features and active members.

The strategic impasse of KINAL

The Movement for Change, the scheme of which PASOK is part as a majority, seems unable to formulate an alternative political proposal and leave its autonomous political and ideological stigma. Stirring between New Democracy and SYRIZA, F. Gennimata is facing an internal dispute and a strategic impasse.

Therefore, the PASOK conference, which will be held by the end of 2019, is expected to “solidify” F. Gennimata’s leadership against intra-party rivals who have not yet raised leadership issues. On the other hand, it will show the direction KINAL will follow. In any case, the course inside KINAL looks like a stormy one, with MPs – who will fight hard to be re-elected in the next elections – keeping their cards close to their chests, awaiting developments. Both political and party-related. /ibna