Pan-Hellenic Socialist Movement

Published 23rd April, 2012

The Pan-Hellenic Socialist Movement or PASOK was founded by Andreas Papandreou in 1974 as a distinctly socialist party. It describes itself as centre-left and believes in Social Democracy and Social Liberalism.

PASOK was third in the first elections after the return of democracy in 1974 but in 1977 it became the strongest opposition party with 93 seats, going to win an absolute majority with 170 seats in 1981. It was returned to power in 1985. During the years in power the socialist stance of the party was modified which caused internal divisions and in 1989 it lost power, though it joined a coalition government with ND and SYRIZA that lasted until 1990.

Charges of corruption against Papandreou, of which he was later acquitted, and further squabbles followed but in 1993 PASOK won an overall majority having dropped much of its populist rhetoric of the previous decade.

They were returned to power in 1996 and 2000 but then lost the March 2004 General Election when they won 117 seats with 40.5% of the vote.

In 2007 PASOK suffered a further decline taking 102 seats (38.1%). In October 2009, under the leadership of George Papandreou, they bounced back and won power with 43.92% of the vote and 160 seats.

The Pan-Hellenic Socialist Movement is a member of Socialist International and the Party of European Socialists. PASOK holds eight of the 22 national seats in the European Parliament and is a member of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats.

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