PASOK leader Evangelos Venizelos is due to meet former Prime Minister Costas Simitis on Friday as he continues his efforts to generate a greater sense of unity in his party after holding talks with his predecessor George Papandreou on Thursday.
However, the meeting between the deputy prime minister and the ex-premier highlighted the differences of opinion between the two politicians, despite Venizelos describing the talks as “friendly and positive.”
Sources said that Papandreou stressed his disappointment with the government’s stance over the last few weeks in relation to the troika. He advised that moves which are not properly thought through should be avoided. The ex-prime minister also expressed concern at the slow pace of reforms and that some measures adopted when he led the country are being dismantled.
However, a key point of disagreement between the two men is Venizelos’s plans for PASOK to take on a new form. After gaining 8 percent in the European Parliament elections in May as part of a center-left alliance whose full name was Olive Tree-Democratic Alignment, Venizelos has indicated he would like PASOK to be at the heart of a new movement that would go by the name of Democratic Alignment. Papandreou, whose father Andreas founded PASOK, is against this idea and raised the issue during Thursday’s discussion.
After the meeting, Venizelos said in a statement that Papandreou “has some ideas” regarding PASOK that would be “taken into account.” Sources close to Papandreou said that he would soon send his proposals about PASOK’s future to Venizelos in writing.