Venizelos to stay on as PASOK chief until May

Evangelos Venizelos has said that he will stay on as PASOK leader until the socialist party’s congress in May.

Speaking Thursday during the first meeting of the party’s parliamentary group and political council since Sunday’s national election – in which PASOK plunged to seventh place with 4.68 percent of the vote – Venizelos acknowledged the socialists’ heavy loss which, he said, also constituted a “personal” defeat.

“It was a heavy defeat for PASOK as well as for me personally,” said Venizelos adding that voters had unequally directed their frustration toward the junior coalition partner.

Venizelos said that George Papandreou, leader of the Movement of Democratic Socialists, a newly-formed center-left splinter group that failed to enter Parliament, was also to blame for PASOK’s poor performance.