ATHENS – PASOK leader Evangelos Venizelos said he’ll step down as the cycle of its deconstruction continues with the party unable to pay its bills.
Venizelos, who served as Finance Minister in a PASOK government from 2009-11 and then as Foreign Minister and Deputy Prime Minister in a coalition headed by former Premier and New Democracy Conservative leader Antonis Samaras, in a TV interview confirmed his departure next month.
“My term will end at the party congress,” he said in reference to the gathering planned for June 5 to 7. The leadership vote is due to take place on June 14.
That’s if there is a Congress as reports said the party is so broke, despite getting millions of loans without collateral from banks – without repaying them nor accounting for where the money went – that it may not be able to hold a meeting.
There was no word on whether anyone wants to take over PASOK, until recently one of the two dominant parties in Greece for decades before former leader George Papandreou – and then Venizelos while serving Samaras – pushed harsh austerity measures on the orders of international lenders, sealing the party’s doom.
Venizelos, a Constitutional law professor, didn’t say what he’d do next but his departure removes a familiar face from Greek politics.