Editorial Ta Nea: The tribulations of the Greek centre-left
Successor, the Movement for Change, instead of playing a leading role in public life is bedeviled by internal clashes and personal ambitions.
Forty-five years since the founding of socialist Pasok, which became the exponent of progressive-democratic politics, it is not the best of times for the party.
Its successor, the Movement for Change, instead of playing a leading role in public life is bedeviled by internal clashes and personal ambitions.
Undoubtedly the centre-left party paid a heavy, dispoportionate price for the economic crisis.
Yet, despite its errors it also played a key role in keeping Greece in the EU.
Efforts over the last years to restructure the party were ineffective and failed to persuade citizens and its current leader bears her share of responsibility.
The centre-left for decades dominated Greek politics because its pluralistic approach managed to draw together various political viewpoints and currents and to balance personal ambitions.
It managed to merge and place on a common path those in the centre-left, centrist Social Democrats, and old leftists.
This legacy of peaceful co-existence was lost during the tumult of the crisis as it was undermined by personal ambitions and jockeying for position.
Although in national politics the popularity of the centre-left has greatly declined, recent local elections showed that it retains strong bonds with society.
With festering political battles from the past and personal vendettas rocking the party there is a clear danger of it being absorbed by the right or the left.
No political party can afford to be held hostage to the past and rest on its laurels because that way it has no future prospects.
Without a contemporary political message, without a plan for the country, without bold and daring interventions that address contemporary challenges (without repeating outdated stereotypes) no party however deep its roots can pursue a dominant political position.
With the current public clashes and with the choices of the party’s leader the centre-left is undermining its future.
The country needs a centrist party that can contribute to stability and offer prospects for the future.
The question is whether the leadership and cadres can create the conditions for that to happen.
As long as personal clashes and ambitions are placed above the party, those who wish to supplant it will marginalise it.