Is there a possibility of cooperation between PASOK and SYRIZA before the European elections? Even if SYRIZA decided the form or the time they would like a rapprochement with PASOK (which, from the existing divergence, does not seem to have happened yet), from the PASOK side there is no such issue.

“I don’t haggle at the top”, were the words of Nikos Androulakis, who made it clear that any alliances should be made at the level of society and not haphazardly, at the level of the top.

In fact, he invoked the model that worked under Haris Doukas in the electoral bout for Athens: “There are people who want to go along with us. I do not go to the persons, but to the values and the policies (…) I do not make compromises for the chair (…) I am ready to work with both the Left and the progressive center, as long as we deal with clientelistic practices”, he said, noting the programmatic agreement of those forces of the broader center-left and ecology that stood by Doukas from the first round – while he spoke of the “bravery” of Kostas Zachariadis, without any relevant reference to the leadership of SYRIZA.

Barbs towards government, but also against SYRIZA

On the contrary, he let loose barbs towards both SYRIZA and the government, speaking on the one hand about opportunist choices (as party officials noted, Kasselakis’ attitude changed from the SYRIZA conference where he spoke of a “center-right PASOK” to today) , but also for a lack of progressiveness in the government’s policy – with special reference to the partnership with Kyriakos Velopoulos for the changes to the Anti-Corruption Commission.

In essence, Androulakis is making social openings both to the intermediate audience with New Democracy and to the one with SYRIZA, but closing the door to any scenarios that have started on the occasion of statements by SYRIZA cadres and the relative openings of the SYRIZA leadership.

In practice, this means that individual persons are included in the call – Georgia Gennias in Piraeus, a former SYRIZA member of parliament who is considered close to Nikos Kotzias, has also taken the path of return.

At the same time, the new mayor of Athens, Haris Doukas, in his interview with Mega channel, put things in perspective regarding the self-governing nature of his candidacy and his cooperation with Kostas Zachariadis and “Open City”: “The local government elections do not count as the third round of national elections (…) The parties are doing their job. They do planning, accounting, balance sheet, everything. I am now the mayor of all Athenians”, he said.

Kastanidis and Spirtzis

But why does the discussion about co-operation, even a joint ticket for the European elections, continue? After the statements of Giorgos Papandreou and the openings of Kasselakis, with barbs against PASOK for arrogance and the inability of the leadership to understand the need for cooperation, the baton was also taken up by the former minister of PASOK, Haris Kastanidis, who gave a speech (on radio) for the need to start a programmatic discussion of progressive forces, so that “we can reach even a common front scheme in the European elections or possibly also a Greek Epinay,” referring to the historical collusion of French Center Left forces in 1971. Party officials, on the other hand, recalled that at last year’s conference he set the goal of preserving PASOK’s political autonomy – which is in contrast to the so-called Epinay sur Seine model that he currently favors. The current president of PASOK also spoke about Epinay in 2017, when the goal was to create the Movement for Change – a venture in which SYRIZA did not participate.

Christos Spirtzis continued his own statements about the need for cooperation between the two forces in view of the European elections, who stated on television that “PASOK rejected a proposal for a joint candidacy of Pavlos Geroulanos in the Attica region”.

In response, PASOK notes that there was no official proposal from the former minister (who had taken over the self-governing SYRIZA), nor was there ever a discussion.