05 December, 2003
Prime Minister Costas Simitis addressed a conference organized by his ruling PASOK party on Thursday on ''Modern socialists and new responses'', making a presentation of the modern-day left in Greece and Europe.
Simitis said the modern socialists are the side capable of winning the wager of politics in the 21st century. Referring both to PASOK and other European socialist parties having experience in government, he said after this experience in government ''we are the responsible left'', the left which lives and is fuelled by its relation with life, which proposes and implements policies, as well as practical solutions.
The prime minister said this left is the one which can guarantee a safe future of prosperity for every citizen and for every person in this country.
He added that PASOK's benefit from the years it has been in power is that it has learnt to be effective and not to give in to the ease of demagoguery.
Referring to the fundamental principles and the ideals of the socialists, Simitis said they remain unchanged.
''We are struggling and we shall always struggle for a government which secures equal autonomy, solidarity and social cohesion, which is based on the participation of all citizens and maintains equal and peaceful relations with the other countries.''
Simitis also said the socialist left renews and modernizes itself, it handles both the old and new forms of inequality and injustice and the new forms of exclusion and exploitation.
The prime minister outlined the targets and great challenges of the modern-day left, which include the continuation of the economy's growth, confronting unemployment and increasing employment and using new technologies in a way benefiting society and not harming individual rights.
Speaking at the same conference, PASOK's Central Committee secretary Mihalis Chrysohoidis said the duty of a modern socialist party today is to guarantee the transition from the old to the new world with the least possible cost and the fewest consequences possible for the weaker classes.
Chrysohoidis said only a modern reformist left can sign a contract with European citizens which will regulate relations between social partners, safeguard social peace, rein in ''uncontrolled and selfish capital'', encourage creativity, and guarantee the rights of individuality and at the same time secure equal possibilities for all.
Focusing on the identity of a modern socialist party, the secretary said rusty party structures must be overcome, as well as phenomena of party bureaucracy.
Chrysohoidis further said socialists must show today that they are the side of imagination and realism, struggles and responsibility, firm management and social benefits, prosperity for all and of equal opportunities.
German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder also sent a message to the conference.
Source: Athens News Agency