Venizelos seeks new course for PASOK

Lacking ideological direction since its shattering experience at the polls this summer, PASOK has been searching for new purpose over the last couple of months and its leader Evangelos Venizelos attempted to provide a basis to work from Tuesday.

Speaking to PASOK?s main bodies, including its parliamentary group, Venizelos set out four elements that will define the party?s philosophy over the next few months. He said it would have to remain a ?stabilizing factor? in Greece, continue working closely with coalition partner Democratic Left, strongly oppose leftist SYRIZA, which he accused of ?political arrogance,? and to ?confront fascism and Golden Dawn? head-on.

Venizelos had wanted to hold a party conference this year to give PASOK a new direction but those plans have been shelved until early next year as the coalition government tries to agree on the new package of austerity measures with the troika before preparing to vote on them in Parliament.

Venizelos called on PASOK members to put aside personal grievances, or ?strategies,? and back the party?s position on the latest cuts. ?The situation has changed, the scope has changed, the roles have changed,? he said.

It was agreed during Tuesday’s meeting that the finalized package would be put before PASOK MPs for debate and approval before being submitted to Parliament.

There has been no indication so far that any of PASOK?s 33 MPs would vote against the measures but the same cannot be said of Democratic Left. MP Odysseas Voudouris said Tuesday that he would not support the new cuts, arguing they went against the leftist party?s pre-election pledges.

He said the party should discuss the measures more openly before deciding whether to back them in Parliament.

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