Theodorakis Nixes Greek Presidency Idea

ATHENS – Famed Greek composer Mikis Theodorakis, who has been on a rant against the government and the country’s international lenders, has rebuffed a suggestion from PASOK Socialist chief Evangelos Venizelos, who’s also Deputy Premier/Foreign Minister, to be a candidate for Greek President, a position which is filled by the Parliament.

It is now held by Karolos Papoulias, a member of the PASOK Socialists who are a minority partner in the government of Prime Minister Antonis Samaras, the New Democracy Conservative leader. Typically, the President’s job is held by a member of the opposition, but that is now the Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA).

Not only did Theodorakis reject the idea, the cantankerous composer blistered Venizelos for even suggesting it and said the PASOK leader was trying to implicate him in a “political game.”

Venizelos, who reversed his objection to the firing of workers at the former national broadcaster ERT and backed more austerity measures being imposed by the government, was characterized by Theodorakis as one of the “servants” of the country’s international lenders, the Troika of the European Union-International Monetary Fund-European Central Bank (EU-IMF-ECB).

Theodorakis scored the films Zorba the Greek, Z, and Serpico and while known as a leftist, was a minister for conservative former prime minister Constantine Mitsotakis and worked for better relations with Turkey and social causes.

He founded the independent political party, Spitha, which has failed to gain any momentum or real support despite its opposition to the crushing austerity measures being imposed by the coalition government.