Two SYRIZA Stalwarts Driving Reach Out to Center-Left Parties

ATHENS – Two veterans of Greece’s major opposition SYRIZA said it should make another overture to the center-left PASOK Socialist and New Left, made up of Leftist dissidents, to try to resurrect its faded fortunes.

The call came in the wake of elections for the European Parliament which saw SYRIZA get only 14.92 percent – and PASOK win 12.79 percent and the New Left 2.5 percent, the three combining for 30.21 percent.

While that was more than the 28.71 percent that candidates for the ruling New Democracy won it’s also still far behind the lead that the Conservatives hold in surveys for voter intentions in Greek national elections.

Still, Dionysis Temponeras, a member of SYRIZA’s central committee, and Antonis Kotsakas, a former minister, said the party’s new leader – Greek-American businessman Stefanos Kasselakis – should approach PASOK and the New Left.

“It is imperative for all of us, both citizens and politicians, to acknowledge our responsibilities towards the country and its people,” they said, although PASOK leader Nikos Androulakis earlier said he’s not interested in working with SYRIZA.

Likewise, the New Left is made up of former SYRIZA high-ranking members who broke away when Kasselakis took over, unhappy with his direction for the party they said was away from its philosophical base.

Temponeras and Kotsakas said the aim to unify the left against New Democracy – which saw losses to far-right parties upset over Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis bringing gay marriage was ““regenerating the broader left and progressive space.”

The two SYRIZA members said that center-left leaders should set aside “personal strategies, plans, and objectives” and collaborate against the dominance of New Democracy and Mitsotakis.

That could mean that Androulakis and the New Left would have to accept a merger and not having leadership of their parties and cede power to Kasselakis, the enmity between the three keeping them apart.


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