Evangelos Venizelos, a former leader of the socialist PASOK party, and foreign minister, has quit the Movement for Change (KINAL), the socialist alliance that got third place in last week's European Parliament election.
Venizelos quit the party after a meeting with party president Fofi Gennimata, who informed him that she was putting former Athens mayor Giorgos Kaminis top of the list of the candidates for the 12 at-large places in the Greek Parliament for the July 7 national election.
Venizelos, in a statement, accused Gennimata of turning KINAL into an adjunct of ruling left-wing SYRIZA.
“I didn't wish her 'good luck' on a plan that turns KINAL into SYRIZA's queue, but I thanked her, because I will now have the opportunity, free of party ties, to forcefully defend my positions for the fatherland's future,” Venizelos said.
He added that Gennimata told him that there were differences between them as to the line KINAL ought to follow and that she had thought Venizelos wanted to play a “wider role.”
Venizelos has been even more pronounced in his criticism of SYRIZA than Gennimata, to the point that there gas been speculation of him aligning himself with conservative opposition New Democracy.