Greek Socialist leader Evangelos Venizelos said after his meeting with Antonis Samaras that the time has come to form a government of national salvation. It must involve all political forces that want Greece to remain in the European Union and the eurozone. His main message was that the new government must involve all those who support the European perspective of Greece and he repeated this phrase several times. Therefore, the new government should be supported by and involve the extreme left SYRIZA and the Democratic Left, Venizelos insisted.
"We rank third after New Democracy and SYRIZA in taking the responsibility to form a government. We have no ambition for main posts to be given to representatives of PASOK," said the Socialist leader, adding that all the forces that want the country to keep the European currency should take part in the government of national unity.
According to the leader of PASOK, the prime minister must be a person who enjoys general approval and meets the needs of the transitional period in Greece. Venizelos suggested that the current Prime Minister of the provisional Greek government Lucas Papademos might be a possible candidate for prime minister, but did not mention his name.
He insisted that the coming government has a few basic tasks, the first of them being to renegotiate the terms of the second bailout and mainly, to delay the closing date of the recovery programme by a year. The International Monetary Fund made this proposal a few months ago, but the then government rejected it. Second, Venizelos said that the government must reach an agreement with institutional lenders to freeze cuts in pensions and salaries by 2015 and to stop the tax increases in the same period. Thirdly, Venizelos questioned the economic growth and the triggering of 50 billion euro from the theoretical (for now) Marshall Plan for Greece. Not least remain the issues of the privatization programme and the obligations for structural reform of the state.
Finally, Venizelos said, "We are all obliged to contribute towards improving the situation in the country by fulfilling our role." Thus, the former finance minister has thrown the ball to his political opponents from SYRIZA, who were in the role of opposition until yesterday and they did not have to make crucial political decisions. Now, they are the second strongest political party in parliament and must assume their responsibility.