The challenge of renewing PASOK

Even if one is to judge solely on the basis of the reactions provoked among PASOK cadres by party leader George Papandreou’s heralding of a radical renewal of the opposition ranks, one would conclude that he aims to get rid of those weighing down his party rather than helping it to move forward and achieve his reformist ideal. However, it is not just a handful of individuals who have contributed to creating the stigma staining the opposition party but an entire system of cadres and officials whose current behavior indicates that they did not grasp the significance of the verdict issued by the Greek people in March last year when they pushed PASOK out of office; these people regard PASOK’s presence in opposition as a brief interlude from power. With their frequent appearances in televised debates, they try to convey the impression that it is not the politicians but the policies that count. Nevertheless, they still parrot platitudes, shunning the logic that it is actually politicians who formulate policies. In view of this, many commentators have suggested that Papandreou should make a daring move and pare down the core of his party to comprise just a few, trusted colleagues who share his vision. In any case, the point is that Papandreou should not just carry out a radical reshuffle of his party for the sake of it, but as a prelude to his party producing some viable policies.

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