NEWS

DIMAR to hold conference with eye on SYRIZA

Democratic Left (DIMAR) is to hold a conference in September to determine its political direction, the party decided after a tense two-day session of its central committee over the weekend in the wake of its disastrous showing in last month’s European Parliament and local authority elections.

Party leader Fotis Kouvelis had offered his resignation after the upheaval that followed the election disaster, in which the party failed to elect an MEP with just 1.2 percent of the vote, but the committee decided that he should stay at the DIMAR’s helm, at least until a party conference which is scheduled for September 12 through 14.

In a speech to the central committee, Kouvelis again ruled out the possibility of cooperating with conservative New Democracy, which leads the coalition, but indicated that DIMAR could reach out to PASOK, the junior coalition partner, as well as centrist newcomer To Potami (The River) and “independent, progressive movements and individuals.”

Several members of DIMAR said the party should consider a possible cooperation with the main leftist opposition SYRIZA which opposes Greece’s memorandum with international creditors. DIMAR and SYRIZA were originally part of a larger center-left party, Synaspismos.

Last summer DIMAR quit the coalition, leaving ND and PASOK to continue as a two-party administration, in protest at a decision by Prime Minister Antonis Samaras to shut down the former state broadcaster ERT.

Online