The River (Greece)

The River (Greek: Το Ποτάμι, romanizedTo Potami, IPA: [to poˈtami]) was a centrist[6][7] and social-liberal[3][4] political party in Greece. The party was founded in February 2014 by Stavros Theodorakis. The party did not run in the 2019 elections and had no seats in the Hellenic Parliament.

The River
Το Ποτάμι
LeaderStavros Theodorakis
Founded26 February 2014 (2014-02-26)[1]
Dissolved24 November 2019[2]
IdeologySocial liberalism[3][4]
Social democracy[5]
Third Way[6][7]
Political positionCentre[6][7] to centre-left[8]
National affiliationKINAL (2017–2019)
European Parliament groupProgressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats[9] (2014-19)
ColoursRed, blue
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European Parliament
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Website Edit this at Wikidata
Journalist Stavros Theodorakis, founder of To Potami
Logo used by the party from its foundation until 2019


Party foundationEdit

The party was launched on 11 March 2014 in Athens by TV presenter Stavros Theodorakis.[1][11]

2014 European Parliament electionEdit

In April 2014 representatives of The River met the President of the European Parliament, Martin Schulz, and with 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, Giorgos Grammatikakis and Miltos Kyrkos.

On 27 May 2014, the two incoming MEPs announced their decision to sit with the S&D group in the European Parliament, whose intake included two MEPs from the Panhellenic Socialist Movement (PASOK),[9][13] citing the group's commitment to "tackling the recession and unemployment in Greece and the South in general",[14] while ruling out joining the Party of European Socialists.[15]

2015 legislative electionsEdit

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 liberal party Drasi, gave a joint press conference announcing a joint electoral list for the forthcoming legislative election.[18][19]

In the January 2015 legislative election on 25 January 2015 The River 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] The River became part of the parliamentary opposition to the governing first Tsipras cabinet.

In the second election of the year, the September 2015 legislative election on 20 September 2015, the party received a reduced vote count of 4.1%, receiving 11 seats,[22] remaining in opposition.


On 19 April 2016, Yiannis Theoharis resigned from To Potami's parliamentary group.[23]

On 18 October 2016, Iasonas Fotilas was expelled from the party.[24] On 24 January 2017, he joined New Democracy.[25]

On 21 November 2016, Katerina Markou declared herself an independent.[26] On 27 February 2018, she joined New Democracy.[27]

On 13 January 2017, Rodopi MP Ilhan Ahmet became the fourth MP elected in the September 2015 general election to resign from the party. He later announced he was joining the Democratic Alignment parliamentary group.[28]

On 7 February 2017, Larissa MP Konstantinos Bargiotas resigned from the party, indicating that he would join the Democratic Alignment parliamentary group.[29]

Movement for ChangeEdit

In July 2017, PASOK leader Fofi Gennimata announced the formation of a new centre-left party before the end of the year.[30] In the summer of 2017, Potami leader Stavros Theodorakis decided to participate in the creation of the party to provide an alternative to Syriza, led by prime minister Alexis Tsipras, and New Democracy, led by Kyriakos Mitsotakis. A leadership election for the new party will be held on 12 November and 19 November 2017, with initially 10 candidates declaring their participation, including Theodorakis.[31] After the leadership election both Potami and PASOK–DIMAR will continue to have separate parliamentary groups until the new party's founding congress in spring 2018.[32][33]

On the first stage open primary election on 12 November 2017, Theodorakis came in fourth place with 9.8% of the vote, failing to reach the second round. [34][35] The run-off election on 19 November was won by Gennimata with 56% of the vote, with the new party's official foundation scheduled for 2018.[36][37]

On 2 December 2017, Theodorakis was announced as being part of the six-member ruling council for the new party, the Movement for Change (KINAL).[38]


On 1 July 2018, The River exited from KINAL due to issues including disagreements between Theodorakis and Gennimata over the Macedonia naming dispute.[39][40]

In the 2019 European Parliament election on 26 May 2019, To Potami received just 1.5% of the national vote, failing to return any MEPs. Following the result, party leader Stavros Theodorakis announced that the party would not participate in the 2019 legislative election as well as his resignation as leader.[41]


Following its launch, To Potami was initially described by the media as pro-European and centrist,[42] inspired by social democracy and social liberalism[43] and heavily reliant on Theodorakis' personal popularity to attract voters.[1] The general description of the party's political position ranged from centrist[44][45][46] to centre-left.[9][47][48]

Election resultsEdit

Hellenic ParliamentEdit

Election Hellenic Parliament Rank Government Leader
Votes % ±pp Seats won +/−
January 2015 373,868 6.1% New
17 / 300
 17 #4 Opposition Stavros Theodorakis
September 2015 222,166 4.1% -2.0
11 / 300
 6 #6 Opposition Stavros Theodorakis
2019 Did not run -4.1
0 / 300
 11 extra-parliamenary Stavros Theodorakis

European ParliamentEdit

European Parliament
Election Votes % ±pp Seats won +/− Rank Leader
2014 377,438 6.6% New
2 / 21
 2 #5 Stavros Theodorakis
2019 86,003 1.5% -5.1
0 / 21
 2 #9 Stavros Theodorakis


  1. ^ a b c "Another party arrives on Greece's increasingly diffuse political scene". 5 March 2014. Retrieved 15 March 2014.
  2. ^ "Ποτάμι: Τίτλοι τέλους για το κόμμα του Σταύρου Θεοδωράκη". CNN. 18 November 2019. Retrieved 25 November 2019.
  3. ^ a b Nordsieck, Wolfram (2019). "Greece". Parties and Elections in Europe.
  4. ^ a b Hendrik Träger (2015). "Die Europawahl 2014 als second-order election". In Michael Kaeding; Niko Switek (eds.). Die Europawahl 2014: Spitzenkandidaten, Protestparteien, Nichtwähler. Springer-Verlag. p. 41. ISBN 978-3-658-05738-1.
  5. ^ "Greek election 2015: everything you need to know". The Guardian. 15 September 2015. Retrieved 29 June 2016.
  6. ^ a b c Stathis N. Kalyvas (2015). "So long, austerity? Syriza's victory and the future of the Eurozone". In Gideon Rose (ed.). Europe's Monetary (Dis)union. Council on Foreign Relations, Inc. p. 203. ISBN 978-0-87609-638-3.
  7. ^ a b c Aris Trantidis (2016). Clientelism and Economic Policy: Greece and the Crisis. Routledge. p. 219. ISBN 978-1-317-32660-1.
  8. ^ Peter Siani-Davies (2017). Crisis in Greece. Oxford University Press. p. 230. ISBN 978-0-19-091121-8.
  9. ^ a b c "Potami to sit with Pasok in European parliament". Eleftherotypia. 27 May 2014. Retrieved 27 May 2014.
  10. ^ The counselors of the Regions.
  11. ^ Martens, Michael (23 January 2015). "Griechische Flusslehre". Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (in German). p. 3. Retrieved 26 January 2015.
  12. ^ "New party shakes Greek political scene". 14 April 2014. Retrieved 26 August 2018.
  13. ^ "ANA-MPA: Potami party MEPs to join Socialists and Democrats group in EuroParliament". Retrieved 11 August 2014.
  14. ^ "Greece's Potami party to sit in same EU group as PASOK". Kathimerini. 27 May 2014. Retrieved 31 December 2014.
  15. ^ Nikolouli, Sotiria (28 May 2014). "Potami Party MEPs to Join Socialists and Democrats Group in EuroParliament |". Greek Reporter. Retrieved 11 August 2014.
  16. ^ "The Reformists, To Potami Join Forces". The National Herald. 26 December 2014. Retrieved 26 January 2015.
  17. ^ "Liberal Alliance ends talks with The River". Greek Liberal Monitor. 5 January 2015. Archived from the original on 10 July 2015. Retrieved 7 January 2015.
  18. ^ "Drasi leader urges party members to stand with Potami". Kathimerini. 6 January 2015. Retrieved 7 January 2015.
  19. ^ "Liberal Drasi party joins forces with To Potami in upcoming general elections". 6 January 2015. Archived from the original on 7 January 2015. Retrieved 7 January 2015.
  20. ^ a b Chrysoloras, Nikos (26 January 2015). "What Now for Greece After Anti-Bailout Syriza Wins Vote?". Bloomberg News. Retrieved 26 January 2015.
  21. ^ "Stavros Theodorakis: "The country needs major alliances"". To Vima. 26 January 2015. Retrieved 26 January 2015.
  22. ^ "Greek Elections: Official Final Results -". 21 September 2015. Retrieved 26 August 2018.
  23. ^ "". Retrieved 26 August 2018.
  24. ^ "Ο Θεοδωράκης διέγραψε τον βουλευτή Φωτήλα από το Ποτάμι". Retrieved 26 August 2018.
  25. ^ Στη Νέα Δημοκρατία ο Ιάσων Φωτήλας
  26. ^ "Αποχώρησε από το Ποτάμι η Κατερίνα Μάρκου - Η απάντηση Θεοδωράκη - Kathimerini". Retrieved 26 August 2018.
  27. ^ Προσχωρεί στη ΝΔ η Κατερίνα Μάρκου. (in Greek). 27 February 2018. Retrieved 27 February 2018.
  28. ^ "Σε ΠΑΣΟΚ-ΔΗΜΑΡ κι επισήμως ο Ιλχάν Αχμέτ μετά την αποχώρηση από το Ποτάμι". Retrieved 13 January 2017.
  29. ^ "Νέα απώλεια για το Ποτάμι: Ανεξαρτητοποιήθηκε ο βουλευτής Κ. Μπαργιώτας, του Κωνσταντίνου Ζούλα | Kathimerini" (in Greek). Retrieved 7 February 2017.
  30. ^ "New Center-Left Party to Be Formed by December in Greece -". July 2017. Retrieved 26 August 2018.
  31. ^ "Ten candidates line up for top job in center-left party". Retrieved 26 August 2018.
  32. ^ "Theodorakis outlines road map for new center-left party". Retrieved 26 August 2018.
  33. ^ "Center-left candidate shoots barbs after televised debate". Retrieved 26 August 2018.
  34. ^ "Fofi Gennimata Closes in on Leadership of New Centre-Left Party in Greece -". 12 November 2017. Retrieved 26 August 2018.
  35. ^ "Gennimata, Androulakis head for center-left leader poll runoff". Retrieved 26 August 2018.
  36. ^ "New Center-Left Coalition Party Elects PASOK Leader Fofi Gennimata -". 20 November 2017. Retrieved 26 August 2018.
  37. ^ "Gennimata elected leader of the center-left party to be created". Retrieved 26 August 2018.
  38. ^ "Center-left reveals members of top decision-making body". Retrieved 26 August 2018.
  39. ^ "Potami drops out of Movement for Change alliance". Retrieved 26 August 2018.
  40. ^ "Greek Centrist Potami Quits PASOK-Led Coalition". 2 July 2018. Retrieved 26 August 2018.
  41. ^ "Potami throws in the towel after EU election battering | Kathimerini". Retrieved 7 July 2019.
  42. ^ Konstandaras, Nikos (24 April 2014). "From Pericles to Potami". The New York Times. ...Potami’s pro-European Union, centrist policies...
  43. ^ "River: Between social democracy and liberalism". 29 June 2014. Retrieved 24 September 2014.
  44. ^ Mandravelis, Paschos (21 January 2015). "Tight election campaign prompts copycat ads". Kathimerini. ...Potami, the centrist party...
  45. ^ Barber, Tony (21 January 2015). "Greek political dynasties will bide their time". Financial Times. ...To Potami (“The River”), a new, anti-corruption, centrist party.
  46. ^ 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...
  47. ^ Wayne C. Thompson (2015). Western Europe 2015-2016. Rowman & Littlefield Publishers. p. 282. ISBN 978-1-4758-1885-7.
  48. ^ "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

External linksEdit