A new center-left grouping dubbed Elia (Olive Tree) which brings together 58 personalities from the worlds of politics, academia and the arts is to be launched officially in Athens on Monday amid confusion about its political prospects.

Although PASOK leader Evangelos Venizelos has expressed his support for the initiative, several current and former lawmakers of the socialist party, which is the junior partner in the ruling coalition, appear unconvinced of its prospects for success. It remained unclear over the weekend which PASOK MPs would attend today’s launch. Meanwhile, officials of Democratic Left (DIMAR), which quit the coalition in June over the closure of former state broadcaster, ERT, object to the refusal of DIMAR leader Fotis Kouvelis to enter dialogue with Elia, Kathimerini understands.

Even before the movement’s official launch, prominent members of the initiative appeared divided about what direction it should take.

Former PASOK MP and minister Anna Diamantopoulou suggested on Friday that Elia should become a fully fledged political party but another ex-PASOK minister, Nikos Bistis (photo), rebuffed such a prospect, insisting that cooperation between the new center-left initiative and PASOK and DIMAR should not be ruled out.