OPINION

Political inertia

It is unclear what kind of political profile the leadership of PASOK – ostensibly the most democratic of parties and the main proponent of «participatory democracy» – is considering promoting for itself in the near future. With his attention focused upon efforts to avoid a fresh defeat in forthcoming European elections, party leader George Papandreou is politically inert. In the few days remaining until the Euro elections, the PASOK chief is doing whatever he can to appear to be offering a dynamic opposition to the government, apparently hoping to strike a positive note and thus imbue his party’s grassroots with some sort of pre-electoral fighting spirit. Despite this, Costas Simitis’s successor, the «child of change,» who somehow found himself at the helm of PASOK, does not have any organized party vigor to rely on. Instead, he is faced with tired and politically washed-out «colleagues.» But this – along with the steady devotion he attracts because of his name – allows Papandreou to believe that he can tackle any kind of crisis caused by a possible electoral defeat. The same attitude is shared by the small group of Papandreou’s supporters, who do not try and hide their disdain for the party’s «old-time» Socialists and for the remains of a once all-powerful «reformist bloc,» which is today seeing itself increasingly marginalized.