Papandreou denies connection to SYRIZA revamp

Papandreou denies connection to SYRIZA revamp

Former Prime Minister Giorgos Papandreou launched a scathing attack on both ruling New Democracy and main opposition SYRIZA as he moved to deny rumors he could be joining the latter.

Papandreou, a former premier and leader of PASOK who is now MP with the Fofi Gennimata-led Movement for Change (KINAL) has been linked with a move to SYRIZA as the left-wing party attempts a shift to the center. Former PM Alexis Tsipras has called “progressive forces” to help him transform his party and widen its appeal to social democrats, among other groups.

In an interview with weekly newspaper Real News, the former Prime Minister was critical of Alexis Tsipras’ premiership, pointing out that the SYRIZA leader partnered even with the far-right. He also stressed that Alexis Tsipras opposed the progressive reforms of the Papandreou administration from 2009 to 2011 and used the economic crisis created by New Democracy to eventually come to power.

A host of former PASOK ministers, MPs and officials have flocked to SYRIZA as the socialist party entered a downward spiral during the decade-long crisis. Papandreou distances himself from Tsipras’s effort to revamp his party as a “progressive force”.

The former PM said such efforts cannot rely on mere transactions or people moving from one party to another, but ought to rest on programmatic agreements, values and ideals, with citizens constantly and essentially involved in the process.

SYRIZA recently set up a committee to preside over the party’s reconstruction after the July 2019 general election defeat. Analysts point out that hundreds of committee members were formerly connected to PASOK, signaling that SYRIZA’s charge towards center-left political ground continues, potentially further suppressing KINAL’s efforts to move above the 6 percent mark latest opinion polls place the party around./ibna