The president of PASOK Evangelos Venizelos congratulated SYRIZA for its major victory in the general elections and expressed his hope that it achieves it is successful, for the country’s good. Mr. Venizelos added that “in our difficult era, a social consensus is necessary”.
The PASOK leader underlined that the percentage of votes that his party receives “is small and insufficient” and added that «we are not satisfied at all, but this is the people’s choice and we respect it”.
Mr. Venizelos explained that PASOK’s “insufficient” percentage was attributed to Giorgos Papandreou, whom he held responsible for Golden Dawn ascending to third place. He then stated that he assumes responsibility for his actions and announced the intention to carry out a unity conference.
“Greece cannot be governed with 35%-37% majorities”
With the first exit polls and official projections showing PASOK trailing behind Golden Dawn, The River and the Communist Party, a number of party officers blame Giorgos Papandreou for depriving the PASOK of the third place.
Some reports suggest that pictures of the former PM and party leader are being taken down from PASOK offices.
The frustration stems from the former Prime Minister’s decision to leave PASOK in order to form the Movement of Democrats Socialists, which they argue divided PASOK voters. According to the preliminary results, Mr. Papandreou’s party does not seem to make it in Parliament.
PASOK to propose formation of a national unity government
After the first exit polls were published show that SYRIZA is set to win the elections, the estimation at PASOK is that the country cannot be governed with such a 35% to 37% majority. A meeting was held in the early afternoon at PASOK’s central offices where party president Evangelos Venizelos debated with prominent party members, former ministers and MP candidates.
After the discussion it was decided that PASOK will propose the formation of a national unity government. Should such a proposal be shot down by the other parties, PASOK will join the opposition and support government decisions that are in line with the national strategy it described in its proclamations.
Furthermore, it was suggested that PASOK could easily have secured the third position in the general elections, instead of Golden Dawn, if Giorgos Papandreou had not divided PASOK voters by leaving the party to form the Movement of Democrats Socialists.
Response from Giorgos Papandreou
The press office of the Movement of Democrats Socialist responded to Mr. Venizelos statement and commented that “it would be best for those who tolerated and cooperated with Baltakos in the government they served to not talk about who is responsible for Golden Dawn coming third in the European elections”.