ATHENS – Democratic Left (DIMAR) leader Fotis Kouvelis, who said months ago he would resign after dismal showings in European Parliament elections, is being criticized in the party because he hasn’t.
One of the party’s lawmakers, Yiannis Panousis, took an unchallenged shot at his leader, joining others in the marginal party whose popularity has fallen to 1 percent in a recent poll.
“When a leader says, ‘I’m resigning,’ he goes,” said Panousis. “A real leader knows how to say sorry and leave. He cannot take credit for 6.2 percent [DIMAR’s result in the June 2012 general elections] and none of the blame for 1.3 percent [the party’s result in the EU vote],” added Panousis.
The MP also said that he has no intention of being part of SYRIZA should the party join its forces with the major opposition that is leading in polls.
Kouvelis brought DIMAR into the coalition government formed by Prime Minister and New Democracy Conservative leader Antonis Samaras and his partner the PASOK Socialists, but quit in a huff over the firing of all 2,653 workers at the now defunct national broadcaster ERT.
Before that, however, Kouvelis supported harsh austerity measures that are antithetical to the party’s principles and which saw it take a big hit among its supporters and other voters.
Ironically, while Kouvelis has fallen out of favor, Samaras and PASOK were said to be considering tabbing him to be their candidate for Greek President in February, 2015 as a compromise candidate to thwart SYRIZA – which would clash with Kouvelis’ mulling whether to join SYRIZA.