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PASOK's new leader will be elected in March from the entire membership board

15 January 2012 / 19:01:38  GRReporter
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George Papandreou started his 80-minute speech with a statement of the two-year term during which he was heading the country. The former Prime Minister threw many attacks at the previous government of New Democracy and repeated allegations of organized interests, of which he became a victim.

"Forget for a moment the procedures, schedules and ambitions, and hear a man who for two years saw everything. The last two years, which were loaded with events that usually a decade holds," began his speech emotionally Papandreou.

"I understood what it means to struggle alone in a political system that until recently was sleeping peacefully in well-organized oligarchy", continued the former Prime Minister, adding: "I do not regret, on the contrary, I am proud to have led such a decisive battle for Greece on all fronts. Many people expect me to talk about tomorrow, but I will not do so because there will be no tomorrow for PASOK if the country is not saved."

Intra-party elections in March

"Based on my position and the conversations that we have had, I believe that we should give priority to the needs of the country and to the critical negotiations that lie ahead," continued George Papandreou.

"We will hold elections before the national ones, in other words around March, because we will consider national elections in April. I will not agree with other proposals, not in line with the needs of the country and the democratic achievements, like elections by citizens and the entire membership board", said the leader of PASOK.

"Some believe upbringing to be a weakness”

In one of the many "private" revelations, the former Prime Minister said: "Many believe that my upbringing is a weakness. Still, I took the most difficult decisions in recent decades. I put my personal ambition on hold, I faced private interests, and to the constant slander against my family I will respond with a phrase by Andreas: 'Do you want to hit me? I am here. Hit'.”

"The only thing that interests me is the fate of the country"

Papandreou, defended his proposal for a referendum, accusing the entire opposition of being afraid of the decision of the people, just as Europe feared it too. He stressed that he fully supports the government of Papademos, adding that his success should not be put in jeopardy.

"The only thing that interests me is the fate and future of the country and to achieve this goal PASOK must be united", added the party's leader.

Evangelos Venizelos offers an express procedure

Evangelos Venizelos began his speech to the National Council of PASOK with a delicate hint to George Papandreou regarding his already announced intention to withdraw (as he did not repeat it in his speech):

"George my friend, I congratulate you on the brave decisions, because withdrawal from the position of Prime Minister and leader of PASOK shows a new political culture. During our common activities, despite the collision in 2007, we have grown closer and have proven that we both want the unification of PASOK ".

In any case, as much unrest as was provoked by the fact that George Papandreou did not reiterate clearly his intention to withdraw, the same unrest was caused by the fact that Venizelos did not openly announce his intention to run for party leader.

The country in a tragic situation

The Minister of Finance defined the country as being in a "tragic situation" and added that "the next three months are the most critical for the country in the last decades."

"Now is the time for negotiations. If someone tries to sell to the Greek people the myth that terms should be renegotiated he is lying. Nobody is going to hide behind the back of the other. Not even inside PASOK. Political ethics and the scale of the problem require it," said Venizelos.

He also talked about reconstruction in the party, and explained, however, that this cannot happen between "1 April and  29 April," thus he outlined the final date for national elections.

"We need to start the principal discussions now and search for answers", he said.

"The stakes for the country is a pledge for the party. There are no two different bets. PASOK's internal problems is the other side of the problem of the country. An immediate solution is needed. I had requested that this happen by 15 January. Now that I think about it, I should have said 8 January. Because crucial talks were held in the past week", concluded Minister Venizelos.

Tags: PASOK Papandreou New Democracy Greece Venizelos
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