NEWS

Left Coalition spurns PASOK

As calls from the ruling socialists, battered in last month’s local elections and trailing conservative New Democracy in the polls, for cooperation with Greece’s tamer left-wingers increased yesterday, PASOK’s principal target poured cold water on the idea. «Synaspismos Left Coalition is not interested in any prospect of cooperation with PASOK,» the moderate left-wingers’ chairman, Nikos Constantopoulos, told the party’s central committee yesterday at the end of a three-day evaluation of the municipal and prefectural election results. «If PASOK is afraid of the forthcoming elections, being well aware that the Greek people are dissatisfied with PASOK’s government policies, that is its own problem.» Following defeat in the October 13 and 20 polls – from which it managed to salvage the high-profile but cloutless Athens and Piraeus super-prefecture – Costas Simitis’s socialists have reverted to their long-standing policy of flirting with the less inflexible left (leaving out the Stalinist Communist Party). In an interview with Sunday Kathimerini, Development Minister Akis Tsochadzopoulos called for a left-wing coalition against ND in the next elections. «I believe conditions are mature for a broader political and social front in which progressive forces will converge,» he said. «[This would include] PASOK, Left Coalition and other forces… It would be a political and social movement expressing the majority that would assume the form of a specific front.» «This is not a defensive move,» he insisted, adding that PASOK is committed to changing the electoral law to allow coalition governments.