July 2, 2018
The leadership of the centre-left Movement for Change, the coalition that merged in late 2017 by Pasok, the River, Democratic Left and other smaller group is officially denying any alliance with neither Syriza nor New Democracy party. Nonetheless, during the last months, Fofi Gennimata, the leader of the Movement has been outspoken, adopting the populist stance of New Democracy and calling for snap elections.
Gennimata also adopts a so-called hard line on Macedonia name dispute, fiercely criticizing the Prespa agreement between Tsipras and Zaev, standing against the majority of its Political Council and the official position of the party of the European Socialists. In addition, during the last couple of months Gennimata has repeatedly tried to jeopardize the final bailout review. Her stance was not endorsed by the River party leadership nor by other members of the Political Council, i.e. a proof that internal balances are fragile and sensitive.
The strategy of the Movement seems to lack vision at a time the coalition is struggling in polls. The last issue that came up a week ago deals with the intention of Tsipras government to launch debate on constitutional reform, a debate that the Movement endorsed a couple of months ago, but now it stands negatively to such a development. Same goes for Kyriakos Mitsotakis and New Democracy, adopting a offensive rhetoric against any political initiative of the government.
In the coming months, pressure over the Movement for Change will increase and come from different sides. Its leadership should choose between being a minor ideological or political party of neoliberal and ultraconservative ND party or getting closer to Syriza and assuming a progressive stance and alliance with the Greek left. Still, there is a new development that can further damage the Movement’s performance and positioning: Yesterday, the River party decided to step back from the Movement and pave its own political path.Dimitris Rapidis