NEWS

Laliotis urges center-left government

Openly declaring the end of the bipolar system that has prevailed in Greek politics since the fall of the dictatorship in 1974, PASOK secretary-general Costas Laliotis yesterday invited left-wing parties to enter a future government partnership with the ruling Socialists. The initial response was frigid. Synaspismos Left Coalition leader Nikos Constantopoulos – whose party, along with the hardline Greek Communist Party (KKE) were the main recipients of Laliotis’s proposal – rejected the idea, saying the electoral law had to change first. This would rule out cooperation before 2008, as under the revised new constitution any changes to the current electoral law, which favors large parties over smaller formations, can only take effect after the next two rounds of national elections. There was no response from the KKE. In an interview with yesterday’s Sunday Eleftherotypia, Laliotis said he was certain «the post-dictatorship cycle that was marked by a two-party system with New Democracy and PASOK alternating in power has closed.» Laliotis, who served as public works minister from 1993 until October’s Cabinet reshuffle, when he got the top party post, said it was time for center-left parties to link forces. «I believe the time is ripe in Greece for the center-left forces to find a common pace and proceed together,» he said. «On this stable basis, relationships of trust can be built between all political formations belonging to the center-left, which will find its expression in a responsible, multi-party government.»