Kouvelis lashes out at ex-partners, seeks new allies

A week after his party pulled out of the ruling coalition following a dispute over Prime Minister Antonis Samaras’s unilateral decision to close down state broadcaster ERT, Democratic Left leader Fotis Kouvelis lashed out at his former partners in government and appealed to the broader center-left to bolster his beleaguered party.

In a speech to his party’s central committee on Saturday, Kouvelis called on “reformist, progressive, ecological, leftist and democratic forces” to come together in an alliance that would seek a “democratic and just Greece.” He rebuffed speculation about his party cooperating with the main leftist opposition SYRIZA, which he accused of following “dead-end policies” that would not help the country emerge from a protracted economic crisis.

Referring to the ERT closure, and other unilateral decisions by Samaras, Kouvelis accused the premier of “despotism,” noting that his tactics had not promoted reform but the opposite, while indirectly accusing PASOK leader Evangelos Venizelos of exploiting the ERT debacle for his own party’s gain.

Questioned about Kouvelis in an interview with Sunday’s Kathimerini, veteran socialist and former Deputy Prime Minister Theodoros Pangalos remarked that the Democratic Left leader “proved to be useless in the government and was not even capable of provoking a major political crisis.”

“Kouvelis and his cadres didn’t want anyone to be fired from the public sector, ever,” Pangalos said. “That was their basic problem.”

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