Forty-four years ago today, in 1974, a politician who left his imprint on the post-dictatorship history of Greece, Andreas Papandreou, founded the Panhellenic Socialist Movement (Pasok).

After over four decades, one can safely say that Pasok led not one, but many lives.

It was a pole of attraction for progressive citizens of all social classes, and was adored by the masses. It thrived by being in power and declined for the same reason, before it had to shoulder the burden of a crisis for which it was not responsible, a burden that decimated the party.

Future historians, with their academic method, will assess the record of a party that was long in power, with the lucidity acquired through the passing of time.

There can be no doubt, however, that Pasok contributed decisively to the modernisation of Greek society, and to healing the open wounds left by the post-Civil War state.

There can also be no doubt that it contributed enormously to social mobility. That led to the expansion of the middle class, which is necessary for the smooth functioning of a democracy.

Despite its mistakes, therefore, Pasok must be credited with serving the principles and ideas which the country needed in order to progress.

In the name of that progress, which has dynamic and not static characteristics, one cannot but wish Pasok longevity.