Venizelos falls out with DIMAR over approach to European socialists

Relations between PASOK and Democratic Left (DIMAR), coalition partners until just over six months ago, reached a new low on Friday when PASOK leader Evangelos Venizelos attacked the fellow center-left party over its attempt to join the Party of European Socialists (PES).

Venizelos slammed DIMAR after its leader, Fotis Kouvelis, met with Austrian MP Hannes Swoboda, who heads the socialist grouping in the European Parliament. The deputy prime minister suggested that the only Greek party that could belong to PES is PASOK. “Some people have the impression that they can behave like parasites against PASOK and, thereby, at the expense of the Party of European Socialists,” he said.

The PASOK chief’s outburst comes in the wake of Kouvelis rejecting Venizelos’s proposal for PASOK and DIMAR to combine forces for May’s European Parliament elections. Venizelos insisted Friday that the invitation to DIMAR remains on the table.