After the liberal “Waterloo” in the European Elections 2014, the various liberal and centrist players in Greece are slowly regrouping.
ALDE member party Drassi decided to join the ballot of To Potami (=The River), a center-left platform founded only last year by the popular journalist Stavros Theodorakis. The decision by Drassi’s national committee is particularly interesting as the two elected MEP’s of To Potami last May decided to join the S&D group instead of the ALDE group in the European Parliament. Theodorakis noted that his platform would embrace all forces which are not a part of the current status quo and that Drassi would not be absorbed by his party. Theodoros Skylakakis, President of Drassi and a former MEP, stated that he will not run in the elections, nevertheless het will remain politically active.
Former liberal hope Dimiourgia Xana! (=ReCreate Greece!), which together with Drassi achieved a dismal 0,9% at the European Elections in 2014, announced that they will not participate in the elections on January 25. Its leader Thanos Tzimeros said that the process would require an excessive cost which the party right now could not afford. The same goes for Fileleftheri Symmachia (=Liberal Alliance) which after initial negotiations with To Potami decided not to run in the elections. It is said that instead of providing a platform for all liberal and reform-oriented parties, To Potami rejected certain members of the Liberal Alliance which in turn decided not to join any campaign at all.
Former German ALDE-MEP Jorgo Chatzimarkakis, currently “Ambassador-at-Large” under Foreign Minister Evangelos Venizelos (PASOK), tried to earn a spot with either socialist PASOK or conservative Nea Dimokratia (ND). Greek media report that although being practically admitted to PASOK’s list, Chatzimarkakis was offered a safe seat at the so called “honorary ballot” of ND. Rumors say that former party president and Prime Minister Kostas Karamanlis vetoed his admission because Chatzimarkakis once openly blamed the Karamanlis government for the current Greek crisis. After this failed attempt, PASOK declined admission as well.
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