A ‘coreless’ strategy?

With ever-growing frequency, PASOK officials are privately admitting to the failure of the party’s pre-election campaign. Their disappointment is a reaction to the conviction shared by many that none of the public relations tactics being used by PASOK’s leadership are getting it anywhere. Rather, they are causing it damage. PASOK has yet to determine what the «core» of its own PR policy is, so it is difficult for the party to discern what is successful and what is a failure. The only thing that party members (the ones who do not participate in the closed-door meetings) are told is that PASOK will mercilessly battle the «Right,» using the prime minister as its strongest card. But this is all a very poor basis for a concentrated pre-election PR strategy. And this can be chiefly observed in the manner and content of public statements by PASOK’s leadership. Of course, the party’s spokespeople do all they can to appear aggressive against the Right, but their style is inconsistent. Campaign leader Theodoros Pangalos favors extremely polemic rhetoric, Interior Minister Costas Skandalidis tries to adopt more moderate tones, while Press Minister Christos Protopapas and the party’s general secretary, Michalis Chrysochoidis, attack New Democracy as pure anti-right Simitis supporters who shiver at the thought of a possible defeat for the «reformist» policies their leader has been preaching since 1996.