Venizelos new party leader of the greek socialists
Greece’s finance minister evangelos venizelos has been elected as the new head of the greek socialist party. Venizelos came in with about 96 percent of the vote after counting more than 25 percent of the ballots.
This was reported by the greek television with reference to the electoral commission. There was no opposing candidate.
"I am aware of the mistakes we (the socialists) have made. I know how bitter people are," venizelos said. But greece can now hope, he continued. The country now needs "work and solidarity," he said. "We are starting", said venizelos.
According to initial estimates, more than 200,000 people took part in the primary vote. This is almost twice as many as the organizers had expected, according to party sources. The greek socialists are in dire political straits, partly due to the financial crisis, but want to make a new political start with their new party leadership.
The greek press assumed that venizelos might even resign as finance minister on monday so that he can prepare his party for the tough election campaign.
In january, the previous chairman, giorgos papandreou, announced his departure from the party leadership. Polls recently pointed to a disastrous result in the early parliamentary elections, which are expected to take place in early may at the latest. While the party received 44 percent of the vote in 2009, it is currently polling between 9 and 15 percent.