Socialists heading for radical reform?

Michalis Chrysochoidis, the 48-year-old public order minister widely credited with helping capture the November 17 terrorist organization, will probably be the only candidate for the powerful post of general secretary of PASOK when the Central Committee votes on Costas Laliotis’s successor today. PM Costas Simitis called Chrysochoidis last night and told him he was nominating him for the post. It appeared that no other party member would challenge Chrysochoidis. As the outgoing Executive Bureau accepted Simitis’s proposal that members of the body should not also be members of the Cabinet, this will mean that the public order minister will change in the runup to the Athens 2004 Olympics. Chrysochoidis had gained the confidence of foreign security officials. But Chrysochoidis’s election as general secretary will also shake up PASOK further, as he has recently made radical proposals regarding changes to the party’s name and emblem, suggesting something closer to European Social Democratic parties. These ideas were condemned by cadres like Laliotis.

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