Pasok: kingmaker of a new Greek government | Europe| News and current affairs from around the continent | DW | 19.06.2012
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Pasok: kingmaker of a new Greek government

For a long time, socialist Pasok took turns with New Democracy running Greek affairs. Now, they got only 12 percent. But the party of Evangelos Venizelos insists there is no way around the socialists in saving Greece.

Evangelos Venizelos first demanded that both Syriza and the democratic left Dimar join the future government in order to be able to take decisions. Venizelos, head of the Panhellenistic Socialist Movement (Pasok) took over the party leadership from his predecessor and rival George Papandreou when his country was in the midst of the euro crisis. As finance minister, he was already negotiating with Brussels on the conditions of an EU bailout and the fiscal haircut of his country's massive debt.

It is this experience that Venizelos is trying to bank on. He maintains that he told Brussels that while the tough reforms were necessary, Greece was facing a recession and rising unemployment and needed more time.

Ahead of the vote, Venizelos called for Pasok to be part of any future coalition government which he said should be a government of shared responsibility. His plan that Pasok would indeed be vital to the formation of a coalition seems to be working.

Venizelos is a lawyer, who, in his long political career, has held almost every post in government. Some see him as the only one with enough political experience to guide Greece out of the crisis. But the majority of voters seem to disagree: Just like in the first round on May 6, Pasok only came in third winning a meager 12 percent of the vote.

Author: Daphne Grathwohl /ai
Editor: Gregg Benzow

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