“For the country to change, political parties need to change. We lived 20 months with our mistakes, but we also lived 20 months with a courageous action to the benefit of the society and the country. Now it is time for us to change Potami and I promise you that we will surprise everyone, friends and enemies”. This is what Stavros Thedorakis stated, during a two-hour live conversation that he had with the volunteers of the Movement, mainly focusing on the Convention that is going to be held in December. Hundreds of volunteers were watching this live conversation, coordinated by the Secretary of the Parliamentary Group of the Movement and Secretary of the Central Organizational Committee of the Convention, Panagiotis Karkatsoulis.
“We will talk about every possible topic,” the leader of the Movement said, “while keeping in mind that introversion would be a gift to our rivals”. He said “We are supposed to settle our internal issues , but remain politically alive, in order to defend our country. Our deputies in the Parliament must have their own battle. We will not hold an introversion Convention, letting the government threshing until December”.
The leader of Potami referred to the oppositional strategy of the Movement. He said: “When it comes to opposition, we will always have the attitude of a responsible political party. There are things on which we will agree – for example tackling corruption – and things on which we will disagree. For instance, we will not support the decision of the government to raise social insurance contributions of young scientists. No one, in Potami, will vote for measures that keep the country in this vicious circle of austerity”.
During the live conversation, the leader of Potami commented on organization of the Movement at a local and central level, on the amendments that need to be made in the Statute of the Movement, the organizational structure, the financial independence of the Movement and the function of the central organization.
The leader of Potami said:
About the conference
Potami is the youngest political party, since it is only 20 months old. Nonetheless, I do think that we need to change many things in its function. Actually, I am not talking about things that we ignored, but about things that we did not know how to change. Now, given the relative political calmness, it is time for us to change these things. Some people claim that we are having this Convention, because of the electoral result of 4%. This is not true. The ones who have been following us know that we had already announced this Convention, which was supposed to be held in September. Yet, because of the elections, we postponed it to December. This is when we will be handling all our minor and major problems.
Asked to comment on who will reserve the right to vote in the Convention, the leader of Potami said:
Only Potami Members, of course, reserve the right to vote in the Convention. Apart from the policy sectors and the local groups of volunteers, we need to give to young people the chance to create their own “communities”. This is the proposal that has been made by the young. They must have the chance to create a community of students, where Potami will be participating. We must give them the chance to be the third pole of Potami, an independent one. In this Convention, maximum 20 to 30 communities will have the chance to express their view. It is not enough, but this will be our way to show that we open up to the Society.
Asked to comment on the previous parliamentary period, Mr Theodorakis said:
We were never available. On 26 January, we could have left Mr Tsipras’ office having ensured two Ministries. We did not want that. We never negotiated that. We supported some of the government’s decisions, because otherwise we would have returned to Drachma. In the meeting of political leaders, if Potami had told Mr Tsipras “handle this on your own”, New Democracy and PASOK would have done the same. Instead, we said “your policy has been devastating so far, but if you sign that no equals yes, we will co-sign. This is what kept the country in Europe and how we did not return to drachma. Now, I think that we must have demanded certain conditions at that night. But, the moment when people’s houses were being burned down and women and children were in danger, we tried to put out the fire, and not claim the change of the electoral law.
Asked to comment on the possibility of Potami entering the government:
They were blaming Potami that it wants to be part of the system. They must realize it. We will not enter any governmental formation, under this Parliament. You are not supposed to do so, having gained only 4%. If we had achieved 10% and we could define political developments, we could have formed another government. If we had 35 deputies, we would be able to say what must be done in specific sectors. But, what are we supposed to do with 4%? Approve the decisions made by SYRIZA and ANEL? We are here to govern. But, for this to happen, people should give us the percentage that will allow us to do so.
Asked to comment on the oppositional strategy of Potami:
We voted a Memorandum and this was indeed a very bad deal, much worse than the one that Mr Tsipras could have concluded in March, when we asked him to do so. From now on, there are things on which we will be agreeing and things on which we will be disagreeing. No one, in Potami, will vote for measures that lead to this vicious circle of austerity. We will only vote what we think is towards the positive direction.