To Potami, Olive Tree to present candidates and manifesto

The contest for the May 25 European Parliament elections is due to intensify next week as the center-left Olive Tree alliance and To Potami, the new party led by journalist Stavros Theodorakis, are due to announce their candidate list and manifesto respectively.

The Olive Tree, which consists of PASOK and three smaller center-left parties, said that it will present its list of 42 candidates at noon next Sunday. A statement from the group said the list would be “unifying” and reflects the “dynamism and prospects” of the alliance.

“It is very encouraging that at this tragically difficult time dozens of people from all over the country want to be part of the Olive Tree’s candidate list,” said Andreas Loverdos, the former PASOK MP who now leads Pact for a New Greece.

However, sources told Kathimerini that PASOK leader Evangelos Venizelos will seek to bar members of his party who are close to former leader George Papandreou from the list, which is expected to include Socialist MEP Sylvana Rapti and former Agricultural Development Minister Katerina Batzeli.

Also next week, To Potami (The River) will set out its ideas in more detail. Since launching the party earlier this month, Theodorakis has been vague on a number of issues. This has not harmed To Potami’s popularity. Some opinion polls have shown it in third place.

Theodorakis intends to set out his thoughts in more detail on Tuesday, which coincides with Greece’s Independence Day celebrations.