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Panhellenic Socialist Movement
Πανελλήνιο Σοσιαλιστικό Κίνημα
AbbreviationPASOK, ΠΑΣΟΚ
PresidentNikos Androulakis
FounderAndreas Papandreou
Founded3 September 1974; 49 years ago (1974-09-03)
Preceded by
HeadquartersChariláou Trikoúpi 50,
106 80 Athens
Student wingPanhellenic Combative Student Faction (ΠΑΣΠ) (universities' organization)
Panhellenic Combative Student Movement (ΠΑΜΚ) (school organization; dormant)
Youth wingPASOK Youth
Trade union wingPanhellenic Trade Union Movement of Workers (ΠΑΣΚΕ)
Membership (2022)189,000[1]
Political positionCentre-left[6]
National affiliation
European affiliationParty of European Socialists
European Parliament groupProgressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats
International affiliation
  •   Dark green[a]
  •   Green[b]
Slogan"Society in the foreground"
AnthemO ílios o prásinos (The Green Sun)[7]
30 / 300
European Parliament
3 / 21
Party flag
pasok.gr Edit this at Wikidata

The Panhellenic Socialist Movement (Greek: Πανελλήνιο Σοσιαλιστικό Κίνημα, romanizedPanellínio Sosialistikó Kínima, pronounced [paneˈlini.o sosi.alistiˈko ˈcinima]), known mostly by its acronym PASOK, (/pəˈsɒk/; ΠΑΣΟΚ, pronounced [paˈsok]) is a social-democratic[2][3][4] political party in Greece. Until 2012 it was one of the two major parties in the country, along with New Democracy, its main political rival. In the June 2023 Greek legislative election it once again held firm on to its position of one of the ”big three” political parties of Greece.

Following the collapse of the Greek military dictatorship of 1967–1974, PASOK was founded on 3 September 1974 as a socialist party.

Formerly the largest left-of-center party in Greece between 1977 and 2012, PASOK lost much of its popular support as a result of the Greek debt crisis. PASOK was the ruling party when the economic crisis began, and it negotiated the first Greek bailout package with the European troika, which necessitated harsh austerity measures.[8][9] This caused a significant loss in the party's popularity.[10][11] It was part of two coalition governments from 2011 to 2015, during which further austerity measures were taken in response to the crisis. Due to these measures and the crisis, PASOK went from being the largest party in the Hellenic Parliament with 160 seats (43.92% of the popular vote) in the 2009 election to being the smallest party with 13 seats (4.68% of the popular vote) in the January 2015 election. This decline became known as Pasokification.[12]

To halt the party's decline, Fofi Gennimata was elected as the new president of the party and formed a political alliance known as the Democratic Alignment (DISY). In the September 2015 election, DISY was the fourth most voted-for party. In 2018, PASOK merged into a new political alliance of centre-left parties, again led by Gennimata, called the Movement for Change (KINAL), becoming the third largest party in the parliament in the 2019 election.





The first members of the party were the main organizers of the collapse of the Greek junta and the re-establishment of democracy on 3 September 1974. Its founder was Andreas Papandreou, son of the late Greek liberal leader and three-time Prime Minister of Greece Georgios Papandreou Sr, and its co-founder trade unionist Georgios Daskalakis. Its founding mottos were "National Independence, Popular Sovereignty, Social Emancipation, Democratic Process." Andreas Papandreou was offered the leadership of the liberal political forces - what evolved into Centre Union – New Forces - immediately after the restoration of democracy, but in a risky move he declined, so the leadership was assumed by Georgios Mavros. Papandreou, a powerful orator and charismatic leader, explicitly rejected the Venizelist ideological heritage of his father, and stressed the fact that he was a socialist, not a liberal.

Early years


At the November 1974 elections the Party received only 13.5% of the vote and won 15 seats (out of 300), coming third behind the centre-right New Democracy of Konstantinos Karamanlis and the Centre Union – New Forces (EK-ND) of Giorgos Mavros. In the November 1977 elections, however, PASOK eclipsed the EK-ND, winning 93 seats by doubling its share of the vote and becoming the main opposition party in Greece at the time.

In government


In the October 1981 national elections PASOK won a landslide victory with 48.1% of the vote, capturing 172 seats; it forming the first socialist government in Greece since 1924. Although Papandreou had campaigned for withdrawal of Greece from NATO and the European Economic Community, after a strong request by the rest of the party members and its supporters,[citation needed] changed his policies towards both organizations. He proved to be an excellent negotiator when it came to securing benefits and subsidies for Greece from the EEC. For example, in 1985 he openly threatened Jacques Delors to veto the entry of Spain and Portugal in to the ECC to secure more monetary aid for Greece.[13]

In 1986, the PASOK government amended the Greek constitution to remove most powers from the President and giving wider authority to the Prime Minister and the Executive Government. Civil marriages, not consecrated by religious ceremony, were recognized as equally valid with religious weddings. The left-wing Resistance movement against the Axis in World War II was finally formally recognized, and former leftist resistance fighters were given state pensions, while leftist political refugees of the Greek Civil War were finally given permission to return to Greece. The National Health System was created and various repressive laws of the anti-communist postwar establishment were abolished, wages were boosted, an independent and multidimensional foreign policy was pursued, many reforms in family law to strengthen the rights of women were undertaken and the Greek Gendarmerie military police force abolished in 1984.[14] In the June 1985 elections, PASOK received 46% of the vote, winning 161 seats, thus securing a stable parliamentary majority for its second term in power.

It continued to be popular for much of its second term, especially in March 1987 when Andreas Papandreou successfully handled a crisis in the Aegean with Turkey. By late 1988 however, both the government's popularity and Papandreou's health had declined. The former, because of the press’ reports of financial and corruption scandals that, implicated Ministers and, allegedly, Andreas Papandreou himself as well as because of fiscal austerity measures imposed after the Keynesian policies of the first term. PASOK lost the June 1989 elections with 40% of the vote while the opposing New Democracy received 44.3%. PASOK had changed the electoral law before the elections, making it harder for the leading party to form a majority government, so the legislature was deadlocked.

Another election in November produced a very similar result. After a brief period of a grand coalition government, in which PASOK participated, a third election in April 1990 brought New Democracy back to power. Despite a 7% lead in popular vote over PASOK, New Democracy could only secure a marginal majority in the Hellenic Parliament, electing 152 MPs out of a total of 300; PASOK had secured a larger number of representatives on a lower percentage of votes, as well as having a small overall lead, in the elections of 1985, under the previous electoral system. Its representation in the Parliament shrunk to 121 MPs in 1990.

In opposition, PASOK underwent a leadership crisis when Andreas Papandreou was prosecuted over his supposed involvement in the Bank of Crete scandal. He was eventually acquitted and, in a dramatic twist of fate, in the October 1993 elections led the party to another landslide victory. Papandreou returned to office with 47% of the vote and his re-election was considered by many a vote of confidence of the public against his prosecution. In November 1995, however, Papandreou's health began to deteriorate and the party was racked with leadership conflicts.

Modernization period

Deputy Foreign Minister of Greece in the Socialist International conference
Costas Simitis with Russian President Vladimir Putin and Romano Prodi

In January 1996 Andreas Papandreou retired after a protracted three-month-long hospitalization, during which he retained the role of Prime Minister; he died six months later. He was succeeded by Costas Simitis, the candidate of the modernising, pro-European wing of PASOK (the so-called "modernizers", εκσυγχρονιστές eksynchronistes), who won an internal vote against Akis Tsochatzopoulos, a Papandreou confidant. In the first days following his election, Costas Simitis faced the biggest crisis in Greek politics for over 20 years,[citation needed] with the Imia crisis. He was criticized for his soft stance against Turkey and especially for praising in public the American intervention on the issue.

In a PASOK conference held in the summer of 1996, following Andreas Papandreou's death, Costas Simitis was elected leader of the party and called early elections seeking a renewed public vote of confidence. Although the Imia crisis had somewhat tarnished his image, the country's economic prosperity and his matter-of-fact administration won him the September 1996 general election with a 41.5% of the vote. Under Costas Simitis' leadership, PASOK had two major successes: In September 1997 Greece won the right to stage the 2004 Summer Olympic Games and in 2001 it was confirmed that the country would be included in the Eurozone, for which it had failed to meet the convergence criteria in 1998. Costas Simitis won another term in April 2000, narrowly winning with 43.8% of the vote and 158 seats: a substantial achievement for a Party which had been in power almost continuously for nearly 20 years.

In 2000, after the assassination of Brigadier Saunders by the terrorist group 17 November (17N), and especially with the forthcoming Athens Olympics being a major terrorist target, a significant international pressure was exerted on PASOK to recognise that Greece had a terrorist problem and do everything possible to bring the terrorist group to justice. Some [who?] among the western media had even falsely accusing the party of colluding with the terrorists, due to the fact that the authorities were unable to arrest the terrorists. Under the guidance of British and U.S. experts, the government intensified its efforts and finally, with a string of events starting at 29 June 2002, the 17N members were captured and put to trial.

Under the leadership of George Papandreou


Nevertheless, the party was losing its traditional appeal to the Greek lower and middle classes. To revitalize the party's chances for the next elections, Costas Simitis announced his resignation as the leader of the party on 7 January 2004. He was succeeded by George Papandreou, son of Andreas Papandreou. The party members were expecting that Papandreou could reverse the slide in the opinion polls which saw the opposition New Democracy (ND), under Kostas Karamanlis, 7% ahead at the start of the year.

Although Papandreou reduced ND's lead in the polls to 3%, he was unable to reverse the view of the majority of Greek voters that PASOK had been in power too long and had grown lazy, corrupt and had abandoned the inclusive and progressive principles of economic parity on which it was founded. ND had a comfortable win at the 2004 legislative elections held on 7 March 2004, placing the party in opposition after eleven years in office with 40.55% share of the vote and 117 seats.

PASOK electoral campaign kiosk in Athens in 2007

On 16 September 2007, New Democracy headed by Costas Karamanlis won re-election with a marginal majority of 152 seats in the Parliament. Despite ND's falling performance in the 2007 legislative election, PASOK suffered a crushing defeat, registering 38.1% of the vote, its lowest percentage in almost 30 years, and 102 seats in the Hellenic Parliament.

PASOK members of the Greek parliament during the discussion of the 2009 budget

The dismal result led to activation of the procedure to select a new leadership, or to reaffirm the current one. The main candidates for the leadership were the incumbent George Papandreou and the Party's informal second in command, Evangelos Venizelos. M.P. for Thessaloniki. M.P. Kostas Skandalidis also announced his candidacy in September. According to Party regulation, leaders are elected in a voting process open to all members. During the leadership election of 11 November 2007 George Papandreou was re-elected by the friends and members of the party as its leader.

A political rally organized by the Panhellenic Socialist Movement in Thessaloniki
Legislative election 2009 results map. Green denotes those won by PASOK

In June 2009, the PASOK won the 2009 European Parliament election in Greece.[15][16] Four months later, the Party enjoyed a resounding victory in the October 2009 general elections with 43.92% of the popular vote to ND's 33.48%, and 160 parliament seats to 91.[17] Due to a number of defections and expulsions after 2009, by November 2011 PASOK held a slim majority of 152 of the parliament's 300 seats.[18]

Decline (2009–2015)

Loss of support ahead of the 2012 election

A poll in October 2011 on behalf of the Greek TV channel Skai TV and the newspaper Kathimerini (after the austerity measures that were taken to tackle the financial crisis) revealed that of the people asked, 92% felt disappointed by the government while only 5% believed that a PASOK government would be best for the nation in the next elections.[10] In the same survey, when asked about whether people have a positive or negative opinion of the various political parties in Greece, PASOK scored as the lowest, with 76% answering "negative".[10]

Because of the financial crisis and the measures that were taken by the party from 2009 to 2012, PASOK, having been the largest party in the outgoing coalition government, achieved only third place with a mere 13.18%, retaining just 41 seats.[19]

After the elections of 6 May 2012, the President of Greece, Karolos Papoulias, mandated New Democracy leader Antonis Samaras to form a coalition government. On 7 May 2012, Samaras gave up the attempt and on the following day, President Papoulias mandated Alexis Tsipras, president of the Synaspismos political party and head of the Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA) parliamentary group. After Tsipras was also unable to form a government, Evangelos Venizelos was mandated, but he too had no success. The legislative elections of June 2012 resulted in a further reduction in PASOK's popular support, probably as a result of the unpopular memorandum signed by former Prime Minister George Papandreou with the IMF, European Commission and European Central Bank. PASOK's share of the overall vote was its worst ever showing since the party was formed (12.28%). However PASOK decided to help the formation of a government by joining with New Democracy (ND) as well as the Democratic Left (DIMAR) of Fotis Kouvelis in a coalition under Prime Minister Samaras.

To contest the 2014 European election, PASOK founded the Olive Tree electoral alliance on 7 March 2014.[20][21][22] In the May 2014 European elections, the Olive Tree list came in fourth place nationally, receiving 8.02% of the vote, electing 2 MEPs.[23][24]

On 29 December 2014, following the failure of the government to elect a presidential candidate, a snap January 2015 legislative election was called by Prime Minister Samaras, scheduled for 25 January 2015.[25][26]

2015 legislative elections


On 2 January 2015, in the run-up to the legislative election, former Prime Minister and PASOK leader George Papandreou announced the formation of a breakaway party called Movement of Democratic Socialists (KIDISO),[27][28][29] a move immediately condemned by PASOK officials.[30][31] Five PASOK members of the Hellenic Parliament were expected to join the new party, including the former ministers Philippos Sachinidis and Dimitris Reppas.[32]

In the 25 January 2015 legislative election, PASOK received 4.7% of the vote, with mandate for 13 seats in the Hellenic Parliament.[33]

On 30 August 2015, ahead of the upcoming September snap election, PASOK announced an electoral alliance with DIMAR, dubbed the Democratic Alignment (DISY).[34][35][36]

In the September 2015 legislative election on 20 September 2015, the Democratic Alignment (DISY) received 6.3% of the vote, and 17 seats.[37]

Under KINAL (2017–2021)


On 12 November 2017, an open primary was used as the first round of elections to select the leader of a new, as yet unfounded centre-left party in which PASOK would be folded. Nine initial leadership candidates include PASOK leader Fofi Gennimata, The River leader Stavros Theodorakis and incumbent Athens mayor Giorgos Kaminis.[38][39] Reaching the second-round election were Gennimata, with 44.5% of the vote, and PASOK MEP Nikos Androulakis with 25.4%.[40][41] The run-off election on 19 November was won by Gennimata with 56% of the vote.[42][43] On 28 November 2017, the name of the new party was announced as "Movement for Change" (Greek: Κίνημα Αλλαγής), abbreviated to KINAL (ΚΙΝΑΛ).[44][45]

On 2 July 2018, The River left KINAL.[46] On 20 January 2019, DIMAR also left KINAL due to its position of supporting the Prespa agreement.[47] On 1 June 2019 former PASOK leader Evangelos Venizelos left KINAL, accusing Gennimata of turning the Movement into "SYRIZA's tail".[48]

KINAL increased its obtained seats in the 2019 Greek legislative election compared to Democratic Alignment, becoming Greece's third-largest party or coalition and securing 22 seats in the Hellenic Parliament.[49] Following the election, KINAL positioned itself into opposition to the new Mitsotakis Government.[50]

Gennimata died on 25 October 2021 at the Evangelismos Hospital in Athens from cancer.[51]

Elections for the new leader took place in December 2021, with the main candidates being Andreas Loverdos, Nikos Androulakis, and George Papandreou. Nikos Androulakis was elected to the leadership of both KINAL and PASOK on 12 December 2021.[52]

Return of PASOK


On 9 May 2022, the alliance was rebranded back to "PASOK – Movement for Change" (PASOK–KINAL) after an internal party referendum, becoming a political party in its own right and absorbing the original party incarnation.[53] The old PASOK emblem (the green sun) was restored soon after that.[54]

At the May 2023 election, PASOK–KINAL managed to increase both its vote percentage by 3.36% and its share of seats in the Hellenic Parliament from 22 to 41.[55] This increase, in combination with the electoral decline of Syriza,[56] has raised hopes among members that the party will regain its former status as the largest opposition party.[57]

At the 2024 European Parliament election, even though the party managed to come first in Lasithi and Heraklion, it failed to capitalize enough on Syriza's decline to become opposition; in fact the party stagnated enough for many members like Haris Doukas and Pavlos Geroulanos to call for an election to replace Nikos Androulakis, the first round of the PASOK party election is planned to take place on 6 October 2024 while the second round is said to take place on 13.[58][59][60]


PASOK is a member of the Socialist International,[61] the Progressive Alliance[62] and the Party of European Socialists.[63] PASOK MEPs sit with the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats (S&D) group in the European Parliament.

Pasokification refers to the decline and rightward political shift of centre-left parties across Europe.

Election results


Hellenic Parliament

Election Hellenic Parliament Rank Government Leader
Votes % ±pp Seats won +/−
1974 666,413 13.58% New
12 / 300
Increase 12 3rd Opposition Andreas Papandreou
1977 1,300,025 25.34% +11.76
93 / 300
Increase 81 2nd Opposition
1981 2,726,309 48.07% +22.73
172 / 300
Increase 79 1st Government
1985 2,916,735 45.82% −2.25
161 / 300
Decrease 11 1st Government
Jun 1989 2,551,518 39.13% −6.69
125 / 300
Decrease 36 2nd Opposition
Nov 1989 2,724,334 40.67% +1.54
128 / 300
Increase 3 2nd Government
1990 2,543,042 38.61% −2.06
123 / 300
Decrease 5 2nd Opposition
1993 3,235,017 46.88% +8.27
170 / 300
Increase 47 1st Government
1996 2,814,779 41.49% −5.39
162 / 300
Decrease 8 1st Government Costas Simitis
2000 3,007,596 43.79% +2.40
158 / 300
Decrease 3 1st Government
2004 3,003,988 40.55% −3.34
117 / 300
Decrease 41 2nd Opposition George Papandreou
2007 2,727,279 38.10% −2.45
102 / 300
Decrease 15 2nd Opposition
2009 3,012,373 43.92% +5.82
160 / 300
Increase 58 1st Government
May 2012 833,452 13.18% −30.74
41 / 300
Decrease 119 3rd Snap election Evangelos Venizelos
Jun 2012 756,024 12.28% −0.80
33 / 300
Decrease 8 3rd Coalition
Jan 2015 289,469 4.68% −7.60
13 / 300
Decrease 20 7th Opposition
Sep 2015 341,390
16 / 300
Increase 3 4th Opposition Fofi Gennimata
2019 457,519
19 / 300
Increase 3 3rd Opposition
May 2023 676,165
40 / 300
Increase 21 3rd Snap election Nikos Androulakis
Jun 2023 617,574
31 / 300
Decrease 9 3rd Opposition

European Parliament

European Parliament
Election Votes % ±pp Seats won +/− Rank Leader
1981 2,278,030 40.1% New
10 / 24
Increase10 1st Andreas Papandreou
1984 2,476,491 41.6% +1.5
10 / 24
Steady0 1st
1989 2,352,271 35.9% −5.7
9 / 24
Decrease1 2nd
1994 2,458,619 37.6% +1.7
10 / 25
Increase1 1st
1999 2,115,844 32.9% −4.7
9 / 25
Decrease1 2nd Costas Simitis
2004 2,083,327 34.0% +1.1
8 / 24
Decrease1 2nd George Papandreou
2009 1,878,859 36.6% +2.6
8 / 22
Steady0 1st
2014 458,403
2 / 21
Decrease6 4th Evangelos Venizelos
2019 436,726
2 / 21
Steady0 3rd Fofi Gennimata
2024 508,399 12.8% +5.1
3 / 21
Increase1 3rd Nikos Androulakis

Party leaders

# Leader Portrait Term of office Prime Minister
1 Andreas Papandreou 3 September 1974 23 June 1996† 1981–1989
2 Costas Simitis 30 June 1996 8 February 2004 1996–2004
3 George Papandreou 8 February 2004 18 March 2012 2009–2011
4 Evangelos Venizelos 18 March 2012 14 June 2015
5 Fofi Gennimata 14 June 2015 25 October 2021†
6 Nikos Androulakis 12 December 2021 Incumbent

See also



  1. ^ Since 2016
  2. ^ Before 2016
  3. ^ Democratic Alignment (DISY) results are compared with the combined totals for PASOK and DIMAR in the January 2015 election.
  4. ^ Movement for Change (KINAL) results are compared with the totals for the Democratic Alignment (DISY) in the September 2015 election.


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  2. ^ a b Nordsieck, Wolfram (2019). "Greece". Parties and Elections in Europe.
  3. ^ a b Dimitrakopoulos, Dionyssis G.; Passas, Argyris G. (2011), "The Panhellenic Socialist Movement and European integration: The primacy of the leader", Social democracy and European integration, Taylor & Francis, pp. 117–156, ISBN 9780203845349
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