Thanos Moraitis on Wednesday became the first PASOK MP to openly say that Evangelos Venizelos must step down as leader of the socialist party.
PASOK, Moraitis said, “needs a new leadership, one that can inspire, unite and expand [the party's influence].”
Moraitis said the party's performance at last month's European Parliament elections marked “the third successive defeat in a context of victorious results for the party in ballots for social and scientific associations.”
PASOK scored victories at recent elections for the Technical Chamber of Greece and the Athens Bar Association and Moraitis's comment was seen as suggesting that Venizelos is out of touch with the party base.
Senior PASOK officials – including Costas Skandalidis, Dimitris Reppas and Fofi Gennimata – have over the previous days criticized Venizelos's strategy.
A statement from PASOK's headquarters at Harilaou Trikpoupi criticized attempts to “undermine the stability of the government,” without naming Moraitis or any other official.
Τhe Elia (Olive Tree) alliance, led by New Democracy's coalition partner PASOK, did slightly better than expected receiving 8.02 percent at May's European elections.