Venizelos meets with Papandreou, says ex-PM has ‘moral obligation’ to stay with PASOK

PASOK leader Evangelos Venizelos met briefly with his predecessor and former Prime Minister George Papandreou ahead of a parliamentary vote for president on Tuesday, shortly after sources close to the latter suggested that he will be announcing the formation of a new political party at the end of the year.

Sources in PASOK told the Athens-Macedonia News Agency that Venizelos asked Papandreou not to split from the party, which has seen its popularity nosedive since it has been at the front line of austerity policies demanded by the country’s creditors.

“The unity of PASOK is his moral obligation to the nation and the party,” Venizelos is quoted as saying about Papandreou, whose father founded PASOK 40 years ago.

“We have to fight the electoral battle together, whenever it may be,” Venizelos reportedly told the former PASOK chief.

Papandreou did not comment on the meeting.

Earlier in the day, sources suggested the former premier is forming his new party composed of politicians from his inner circle and will announce its launch at the end of the month.