Muddled vision

What does George Papandreou’s vision of a new PASOK entail? The only thing it could mean is a shift in party power away from Costas Simitis’s allies to those of his successor. It’s no secret that the new Socialist chairman is setting up a leadership group through which he aims to assert control over and transform his party. Papandreou has yet to make up his mind on the political content of the new PASOK (the «great democratic faction,» as the nascent movement has been advertised by Papandreou’s acolytes, such as newcomer Maria Damanaki). The «child of change» does not seem to have picked the social group or groups on which he will base his endeavor; he has not clarified the nature of his overtures, and he has not pondered the concerns that have long dogged Europe’s other social democratic parties. So the question remains: What would be the direction and the political goals of Papandreou’s party reorganization? For the time being, the opposition party is in the midst of a political fog, with no clear idea of where it wants to go. Papandreou is trying to take advantage of the two-month limbo until the European elections and avoid serious cracks within PASOK. However, the Socialist chairman has yet to establish a strong leadership profile. Every time he’s tried to challenge the government, Papandreou looked confused and uninspired.

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