NEWS

Diamantopoulou calls for ‘open’ PASOK

?A PASOK-plus, a PASOK with something new? is how Anna Diamantopoulou would like to see the Socialist party emerge from a leadership race, she said on Tuesday, adding that ?the time has come for PASOK to open up.?

The education minister, one of nine PASOK ministers to remain in the Cabinet of a unity government under technocrat Lucas Papademos after the step-down of Socialist Prime Minister George Papandreou in early November, is rumored to be eyeing a candidacy in a possible race for the party?s top seat.

Speaking on Skai television on Tuesday morning, however, Diamantopoulou did not confirm that she would be submitting her name in an election for a new PASOK leader if Papandreou — whose four-year tenure ended in November — were to resign, though she did say that Greece?s political system needs ?new blood, new faces, new voices with political content.?

Diamantopoulou said that ?societies do not adapt to political parties but political parties adapt to society,? adding that ?this particular cycle for PASOK has closed? and the party cannot continue without an overhaul and new proposals.

?We need an intelligent and responsible Left,? Diamantopoulou told Skai, following an interview with Ta Nea daily in which she had said that ?PASOK is opening up.?

Other names in PASOK that have been linked to a possible leadership race are Development, Competitiveness and Shipping Minister Michalis Chrysochoidis, who openly expressed his interest for the party?s top spot earlier this month, and Finance Minister Evangelos Venizelos (who had lost to Papandreou in PASOK?s 2007 elections) and Health Minister Andreas Loverdos, neither of whom, however, have openly confirmed that they would submit their candidacy if Papandreou were to step down.

Neither the former prime minister nor the party has officially discussed an election.