ATHENS: – Former Greek prime minister Georges Papandreou announced on Friday he was creating a new political party just weeks before snap elections this month, sparking anger in his own Socialist party.
The move, described as “absurd” by the Socialist Pasok party of which Papandreou is still a lawmaker, is likely to complicate the potential outcome of the January 25 election.
“New year. New start,” Papandreou wrote on his website.
“The moment has come to make a big step forward for progressive forces… to build together a political home for progressive principles,” he wrote.
Papandreou, who was premier during the crisis-wracked period from 2009 to 2011, will officially launch the party on Saturday in the Benaki museum in Athens, the Ana agency reported.
Papandreou said the new movement would work in the parliament that emerges from the closely-watched election “to definitively bring Greece out of the crisis “.
Pasok, the party created by Papandreou’s father Andreas in 1974 and which has largely ruled Greece ever since, accused him of trying to divide the party.
“He is behaving like the successor to Pasok, who wants to destroy the Pasok that his father created,” it said in a statement.
The election in bailed-out Greece is being watched warily by financial markets and international creditors concerned that a victory by the radical leftist party Syriza could lead to unpopular fiscal reforms being abandoned.
Prime Minister Antonis Samaras has warned that Greece may be forced out of the eurozone if Syriza wins the vote. It has vowed to reverse years of austerity imposed in return for financial aid.