The Reformists, To Potami Join Forces

ATHENS – Yet another splinter political party, The Reformists, has aligned itself with the new To Potami (The River) movement in a bid to make an impact in Greece.

Spyros Lykoudis, who broke away from the vanishing Democratic Left (DIMAR) to create The Reformists, and To Potami leader, former TV journalist Stavros Theodorakis announced their relationship in a news conference outside the old Parliament building. They said their aim was “changing everything without taking down the country,” but didn’t say how they would do it.

Theodorakis said that Potami’s election course starts now along with the Reformists although he had said the party, with no other recognizable figures, would work with the ruling parties of Prime Minister Antonis Samaras’ New Democracy Conservatives and his partner the PASOK Socialists if needed as well as other political parties it had blamed for the country’s crushing economic crisis.

Theodorakis said now that To Potami, which has been running at about 5-7 percent support and the Reformists would be the alliance that would save Greece.

Lykoudis, who blamed DIMAR chief Fotis Kouvelis for mismanaging the party that had been part of the New Democracy-PASOK coalition government, said now that, “We go side by side with the Potami; this is the entity that we will join forces with for the elections.”

That came after former PASOK MPs Anna Diamantopoulou and Giorgos Floridis announced that they are launching a new center-left movement, which may become a party that will take part in snap elections early next year if Parliament fails to elect a president.

And that comes as PASOK leader Evangelos Venizelos, serving as Samaras’ Deputy Premier/Foreign Minister, said he would dissolve his fast-fading party to create a new one called the Democratic Alignment, another center-left movement. He earlier had aligned himself with yet another center-left movement called Olive Tree, which has faded from attention.

And that comes as former PASOK leader and previous Greek Premier George Papandreou said he’d be leaving the party his father founded to create yet another movement formed of his tiny inner circle of supporters, further diluting the fractured center-left in Greece that it is so disorganized it has left the field to the major opposition Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA) to dominate.

Diamantopoulou and Floridis said they are aiming to attract reformists and may also put their camp in that of Lykoudis and while they are consulting as well with former Finance Minister Alekos Papadopoulos.