Venizelos, Simitis hold ‘good and substantial’ talks

Ongoing political and economic developments were at the focus of talks Friday between deputy Prime Minister Evangelos Venizelos and former Prime Minister Costas Simitis.

“We had a good and substantial discussion,” Venizelos told journalists after the meeting which took place at the office of his predecessor at the helm of PASOK.

Venizelos, who is also Greek Foreign Minister, said the two men talked about the coalition’s ongoing negotiations with the troika, the deadlock over the Cyprus issue and Greek-Turkish relations.

Meanwhile, a meeting between Venizelos and ex premier George Papandreou on Thursday highlighted the differences of opinion between the two politicians, despite Venizelos describing the talks as “friendly and positive.”

A key point of disagreement between the two men is Venizelos’s plans for PASOK to take on a new form. After gaining 8 percent in the European Parliament elections in May as part of a center-left alliance whose full name was Olive Tree-Democratic Alignment, Venizelos has indicated he would like PASOK to be at the heart of a new movement that would go by the name of Democratic Alignment. Papandreou, whose father Andreas founded PASOK, is against this idea.

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