Democratic Left Loses Another Defector

Andreas Nefeloudis has given up on the Democratic Left.
Andreas Nefeloudis has given up on the Democratic Left.

The tiny Democratic Left, one of Prime Minister Antonis Samaras’ coalition government partners with his New Democracy Conservatives and the PASOK Socialists, has lost another Member of Parliament who quit because he said it has betrayed its principles.

At a meeting of the party’s central committee in Athens, Andreas Nefeloudis said he was leaving Democratic Left because he felt it was no longer committed to creating a left-wing government. He was a member of the party’s executive committee.

“Our party is legitimizing the hardest neoliberal decisions that have been taken since the fall of the junta,” said Nefeloudis, according to the newspaper Kathimerini. “It would be dishonest of me to continue to be another voice of dissent within the party,”

Three MPs have left the party since it became part of the coalition government in June, taking its total number of MPs to 14. Democratic Left leader Fotis Kouvelis, a former Communist, has since switched his party’s allegiance to backing Samaras’ conservatives and supporting waves of pay cuts, tax hikes and slashed pensions that are antithetical to the party’s platform.

Kouvelis insisted his party was right to give in to demands from Samaras and international lenders who insisted on austerity in return for bailouts. He said the era of one-party rule in Greece is over and all future governments would be hybrids of clashing principles who would have to compromise for the common good.