Democratic Left leader Fotis Kouvelis on Friday rejected an invitation to hold talks on closer cooperation with PASOK ahead of the Socialists’ four-day party congress, which will start on February 28.
In response to a written invitation from PASOK leader Evangelos Venizelos to explore ways the two parties could work more closely, Kouvelis said in a statement that Democratic Left (DIMAR) would simply “watch with particular interest” the proceedings in two weeks time.
The DIMAR leader suggested that PASOK first needs to find its feet after seeing its support plummet and numerous members leave over the last three years before there can be any discussions between the two parties.
“DIMAR can not be part of the internal workings of PASOK or take part, even indirectly, in the pre-congress procedures of another party that is looking for a new identity,” said Kouvelis.
Venizelos criticized DIMAR’s decision, labeling it “defensive.” “Now is the time for major initiatives,” he said, adding that PASOK would continue trying to pool the resources of all center-left parties, even if DIMAR refuses to take part in the process.
The two parties gathered a combined total of 18.5 percent in the June elections last year.