ATHENS.- ANA – Main opposition PASOK party leader George Papandreou began his dialogue campaign with citizens with a visit to the city of Hania, on the island of Crete, on Saturday in the wake of last Sunday’s general elections in the country. Papandreou visited the municipal market and talked with shopkeepers, while many citizens urged him to make radical changes and told him the arrogance and introversion of certain cadres was to blame for the party’s election defeat.
Speaking at the labour centre in Hania shortly afterwards, in the presence of PASOK’s Central Committee Secretary Mihalis Chrysohoidis, Costas Skandalidis and local party deputies and members, Papandreou analysed his plan of action.
”My aim is to have PASOK turned into an effective movement which will perform opposition for essence and not for opposition,” he said, adding that it will become ”a movement which will be ready to rule the country at any moment.”
Papandreou also referred to the party’s congress, due to take place in September.
”Our congress will be a congress of renewal and of new momentum which will have a great participation on the part of society,” he said.
Papandreou further noted that the party’s next targets will be two: The Euroelections in June and the congress.
Strolling through the Rethimno’s old sector, Papandreou had the opportunity of speaking with young people in coffee bars in the area and of listening to their views on political developments. Addressing party members at the Chamber of Commerce and Industry later on in the afternoon, Papandreou reiterated his commitment to create an effective party which will exercise substantive and constructive opposition.
The PASOK party leader said his aim is to create a party which will be open to all citizens, which will listen to the voice of the grassroots and take note of the people’s day-to-day problems.
”Our aim is how we will all forge ahead together and, indeed, how considerable reforms will take place in our party, which is not an internal issue alone, because we really want to bring new ethics to politics and a new function onto the political scene,” Papandreou said.
On Sunday he visited the prefecture of Lasithi in the eastern part of the island.
The main opposition PASOK party’s Executive Bureau convened on Friday to discuss last Sunday’s general election results and to make an initial assessment of their causes. Speaking after the meeting, PASOK leader George Papandreou indicated the opposition tactic the party will follow and will visit Crete over the weekend and tour all four prefectures on the island.
Papandreou said the opposition tactic will have two aspects. The first will regard national issues and national interest will be the main concern.
He mentioned as an example, the issue of Cyprus and the Athens Olympic Games and stressed that the precondition for his party’s assistance is its agreement on the policy implemented.
The second aspect of PASOK’s opposition tactic concerns domestic issues. Papandreou said that wherever disagreement exists on such issues it will be followed by specific positions and political proposals and with the activation of all forces.
“For every political act of the government, the opposition will have the reply. For all issues there will be our position, proposal and policy,” Papandreou said.
The PASOK leader also thanked the 40 percent of the Greek people who expressed confidence in PASOK again, saying that this shows that the party remains the great and potential majority party.
Papandreou further said the new government is receiving a strong and modern Greece, Greece of development and prosperity and Greece that put Cyprus into the European Union, achieved the hosting of the Olympic Games and is ready to hold safe Olympic Games and which combated terrorism.