PASOK eyes center-left cooperation

PASOK leader Evangelos Venizelos is preparing to make a formal approach for cooperation to the Democratic Left, the Ecologist Greens and other similar politically minded groups and citizens? movements in a bid to regenerate the center-left in Greece, party sources have told Kathimerini.

Venizelos could use his speech for the anniversary of PASOK?s founding on September 3 to make the opening to other socialist and left-leaning groupings. The PASOK leader sees this as a vital step toward reviving the fortunes of his party, which was battered at the polls in the two national elections earlier this year, sources said.

There has already been contact between PASOK and Democratic Left and the two sides have agreed that a prerequisite for the center-left to regain relevance in Greece and for the two parties to make their presence felt in the coalition government is the drafting of an economic recovery plan that goes beyond the measures assigned by the country?s lenders.

Venizelos appointed a committee in early August comprising PASOK veterans Petros Efthymiou, Mimis Androulakis and Nikos Androulakis, who he gave the task of producing a list of proposals which could form the basis of cooperation between PASOK and other groups.

Sources said that Venizelos has discussed the terms of a possible cooperation with Democratic Left leader Fotis Kouvelis as both politicians are concerned about the impact that the voting through of 11.5 billion euros of new spending cuts would have on support for their parties. They are particularly concerned as some of the measures go against the post-election agreement signed by the two parties and New Democracy. The two leaders would like to draw up a framework for pro-growth policies that the coalition government could announce alongside the latest cuts.

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