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Another rift in PASOK

PASOK leader Evangelos Venizelos reacted to a decision by former PASOK leader and PASOK head, George Papandreou, to abstain from the founding congress of the “Elia" party in Athens.

In comments made Friday, Papandreou criticized the "Elia" initiative as an attempt by PASOK to end its existence as a party.

The tension between the two men now means that Venizelos will have to draw up a candidate list for Euro elections without any of the participation of Papadreou.

The race for the defragmentation of the Greek center-left milieu is on and another ambitious project was unveiled yesterday. Socialist PASOK initiative for a wide center-left coalition has an official name and conference in progress. It is called “Olive” and it is consisted of politicians, academics and pundits revolving mainly around PASOK.

The major participants in this experiment are PASOK president, Foreign minister and government VP, Evangelos Venizelos, representative of the “movement of the 58”, Yiannis Voulgaris and former PASOK ministers Andreas Loverdos and Ilias Mosialos. Still, the focus was not on the participants, but on the high profile abstentions, namely former PM George Papandreou.

From the Olive conference, Venizelos retaliated saying how sorry he was for the abstentions of certain individuals who should have been there. “Everyone carries their personal, historic responsibility with their position on the necessities of the party and the country”, he added, signaling towards the former PM, with whom relations seem all but broken.

Papandreou wasn’t the only absentee from the proceedings who attracted Venizelos’ fire. He was particularly poignant about the refusal of Democratic Left (DHMAR) party to take part in the forum. The small but politically consistent party has already announced its own initiative. They call it “the third pole”, meaning a third political platform differentiating from both the New Democracy and the SYRIZA radical left coalition ones.

Meanwhile, some high profile PASOK members are openly opposing the initiative, foreseeing the dissolution of the party which, by all accounts, could ultimately be indeed decided by voters in upcoming elections.