The River (Greece)

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The River
Το Ποτάμι
Leader Stavros Theodorakis
Founded February 26, 2014 (2014-02-26)[1]
Ideology Centrism[2][3]
Social liberalism[4]
Social democracy[4]
Anti-corruption[2]
Pro-Europeanism[5]
International affiliation None
European affiliation None
European Parliament group Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats[6]
Colours Red, blue
Parliament
17 / 300
European Parliament
2 / 21
Regions[7]
0 / 725
Website
www.topotami.gr
Politics of Greece
Political parties
Elections
Journalist Stavros Theodorakis, founder of To Potami

The River (Greek: Το Ποτάμι, To Potami) is a political party in Greece founded in 2014, which is variously described as centrist[2][8] and centre-left.[9][6] Since 2014 the party is represented in the European Parliament with 2 seats and in the 2015 legislative election it won 17 seats in the Hellenic Parliament.

History[edit]

Formation[edit]

To counter the traditional centralism in Greece, the founding congress was initially planned to take place on a campsite in Thrace, but was finally held in Athens.[10] The party was launched on 11 March 2014, by TV presenter Stavros Theodorakis.[1] The party has inititally been described by the media as pro-European and centrist,[5] inspired by social democracy and liberalism[11] and heavily reliant on Theodorakis' personal popularity to attract voters.[1]

European Parliament election, 2014[edit]

In April 2014 representatives of The River were met by the President of the European Parliament, Martin Schulz and representatives of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats (S&D), Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (ALDE) and The Greens–European Free Alliance (Greens/EFA) parliamentary groups.[12]

In the 2014 European Parliament election held on 25 May 2014, the party received 6.6% of the national vote and the mandate to elect two MEPs, the former dean of the University of Crete, physicist and writer Giorgos Grammatikakis, and chemical engineer Miltos Kyrkos, the son of Leonidas Kyrkos. Further notable list candidates included chess grandmaster Vasilios Kotronias and Olympic water polo team captain Giorgos Mavrotas.

On 27 May 2014 it was announced that the 2 incoming MEPs planned to sit with the S&D group in the European Parliament, which also includes the two MEPs of the Panhellenic Socialist Movement (PASOK),[6][13] citing the S&D group’s commitment to “tackling the recession and unemployment in Greece and the South in general is among its political priorities”.[14] The River MEPs stated they would affiliate to the group but will not join the Party of European Socialists.[15]

Legislative election, 2015[edit]

On 24 December 2014, the newly founded party Reformers for Democracy and Development of former Democratic Left (DIMAR) MP Spyros Lykoudis announced an alliance with The River.[16]

On 5 January 2015, the Liberal Alliance party suspended talks about a joint electoral list with The River after the participation of Liberal Alliance's president Gregory Vallianatos had reportedly been ruled out by The River officials.[17] Later, The River's leader Theodorakis and Theodoros Skylakakis, the leader of the pro-business liberal party Drasi, gave a joint press conference announcing an electoral alliance to contest the 2015 legislative election, with Drasi candidates running on The River's electoral list.[18][19]

A few days ahead of the election, The River official Haris Theocharis stated in an interview with German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine that most people in his party expected a possible coalition with the Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA), with The River opposing Greek exit from the Eurozone and the bank deposit levy.[10]

In the election on 25 January 2015, the party received 6.1% of the electoral vote, finishing fourth place with a mandate for 17 seats in the Hellenic Parliament. In the aftermath of the election party leader Theodorakis stressed that Greece needed to avoid another snap election,[20] and while ready to talk with SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras about forming a coalition government,[21] he said they wouldn't support any coalition that includes anti-European forces.[20]

Election results[edit]

Hellenic Parliament[edit]

Hellenic Parliament
Date Votes Seats Position Size Notes
#  % ± pp # ±
2015 373,868 6.1%
17 / 300
Opposition 4th

European Parliament[edit]

European Parliament
Date Votes Seats Size
#  % ± pp # ±
2014 377,438 6.6%
2 / 21
5th

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "Another party arrives on Greece's increasingly diffuse political scene". MacroPolis. 5 March 2014. Retrieved 15 March 2014. 
  2. ^ a b c Barber, Tony (21 January 2015). "Greek political dynasties will bide their time". Financial Times. ...To Potami (“The River”), a new, anti-corruption, centrist party. 
  3. ^ Mason, Paul (20 January 2015). "Inside Syriza’s economic brain". Channel 4. ...To Potami (The River) which I can best describe as a Blairite modernising centrist party... 
  4. ^ a b Nordsieck, Wolfram. "Greece". parties-and-elections.eu. Retrieved 21 January 2015. 
  5. ^ a b Konstandaras, Nikos (24 April 2014). "From Pericles to Potami". The New York Times. ...Potami’s pro-European Union, centrist policies... 
  6. ^ a b c "Potami to sit with Pasok in European parliament". Eleftherotypia. 27 May 2014. Retrieved 27 May 2014. 
  7. ^ The counselors of the Regions.
  8. ^ Mandravelis, Paschos (21 January 2015). "Tight election campaign prompts copycat ads". Kathimerini. ...Potami, the centrist party... 
  9. ^ "Greek elections: Main parties from Syriza to Golden Dawn explained". BBC News. 21 January 2015. The River (To Potami) is a moderate centre-left party 
  10. ^ a b Martens, Michael (23 January 2015). "Griechische Flusslehre". Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (in German). p. 3. Retrieved 26 January 2015. 
  11. ^ "River: Between social democracy and liberalism". Capital.gr. 29 June 2014. Retrieved 24 September 2014. 
  12. ^ http://www.euractiv.com/sections/eu-elections-2014/new-party-shakes-greek-political-scene-301531
  13. ^ "ANA-MPA: Potami party MEPs to join Socialists and Democrats group in EuroParliament". Amna.gr. Retrieved 2014-08-11. 
  14. ^ "Greece's Potami party to sit in same EU group as PASOK". Kathimerini. 2014-05-27. Retrieved 2014-12-31. 
  15. ^ Nikolouli, Sotiria (2014-05-28). "Potami Party MEPs to Join Socialists and Democrats Group in EuroParliament | GreekReporter.com". Greek Reporter. Retrieved 2014-08-11. 
  16. ^ "The Reformists, To Potami Join Forces". The National Herald. 26 December 2014. Retrieved 26 January 2015. (subscription required (help)). 
  17. ^ "Liberal Alliance ends talks with The River". Greek Liberal Monitor. 2015-01-05. Retrieved 2015-01-07. 
  18. ^ "Drasi leader urges party members to stand with Potami". Kathimerini. 2015-01-06. Retrieved 2015-01-07. 
  19. ^ "Liberal Drasi party joins forces with To Potami in upcoming general elections". 2015-01-06. Retrieved 2015-01-07. 
  20. ^ a b Chrysoloras, Nikos (26 January 2015). "What Now for Greece After Anti-Bailout Syriza Wins Vote?". Retrieved 26 January 2015. 
  21. ^ "Stavros Theodorakis: "The country needs major alliances"". To Vima. 26 January 2015. Retrieved 26 January 2015. 

External links[edit]