Venizelos puts faith in relationship with PM

PASOK leader and Deputy Prime Minister Evangelos Venizelos has identified as his good working relationship with Prime Minister and New Democracy chief Antonis Samaras as being crucial to the future of the two-party coalition government but admits that it will not be enough on its own to ensure its success.

“Our relationship is based on a shared vision and personal trust because we are carrying a great burden,” Venizelos told Sunday’s Kathimerini in an interview. However, Venizelos stressed that the “interlinking chains” in the New Democracy-PASOK administration could make life “more difficult” as well as “easier” for him and Samaras. “That is why there has to be cooperation on all levels, including at the heart of government and at each ministry and within each parliamentary group.”

Venizelos said that the creation of a common policy program would help in this respect. The previous government, which included Democratic Left, also agreed a policy platform but this was never ratified.

The PASOK leader underlined that the new government would not be in a position to adopt any new austerity measures should they be demanded by Greece’s lenders. “I think that the example of Portugal [where the government has been close to collapse] helps our argument,” he said.

Venizelos also called on his predecessors as PASOK leaders, George Papandreou and Costas Simitis, to help revive the Socialist party’s flagging fortunes.

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