PASOK’s new leadership

Karamanlis observed that PASOK’s new leader, who aimed to rally the party’s dissatisfied supporters, had not managed to change the political landscape. He said PASOK would need some time in opposition before it could criticize the mistakes and omissions of its government’s term. How far do you think the change of leadership in PASOK has affected political developments and PASOK’s own strength? It is very simple. When (Prime Minister Costas) Simitis exhausted all his communication reserves, he was forced to withdraw in order to give PASOK a chance in the election battle. Mr Papandreou, who for years had been presented as the undisputed successor within PASOK, was chosen as his heir. The new leader has tried to rally PASOK’s dissatisfied supporters, at least those who had been disappointed by Simitis. PASOK has had a change of leadership, but has not managed to change the political landscape. That is because it is clear to everyone that PASOK has exhausted its possibilities. It will need some time in opposition before it can criticize the mistakes and omissions of its term in office, to review policies, to formulate proposals and come before the Greek people with a truly new face. Your platform includes the formation of a small and flexible government. Will you abide by your platform on this point? On March 7 a cycle is finally ending – that of the post-dictatorship period – and a new cycle in our country’s history is beginning. (The year) 2004 is both the end of an age and a new beginning. I believe that Greece and the Greeks can and should rediscover their optimism. But it needs a different mentality, a new policy and a new governance. New concepts are needed, new approaches, different mentalities. New people with fresh ideas. People with strength and a desire to fight compromise and mediocracy. The core of the next government, that of New Democracy, will comprise people of my generation. I think it is time to take a major, qualitative leap forward. I am convinced that now is the time for people who have not experienced the difficult times of division and violent conflict to take the country’s destiny in their hands.

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