Venizelos is generally seen as a pragmatic man. A highly appreciated constitutionalist, he tried to take the leadership of the socialist party in 2007 but was beaten by Papandreou. He was development minister in 1999 and minister of culture between 2000 and 2004, leading Greece to the Olympic Games. Even his opponents consider him to be one of the most skilled politicians in the country. The choice to have Venizelos lead the party is one of continuity, but at the same time also a break with the traditional political families (of Papandreou and, on the right wing, of former premier Costas Karamanlis).
When explaining the views of his party, Venizelos said that Pasok's main goal is to make Greece an economically autonomous country and, from an institutional viewpoint, an equal member of the European Union. To reach these goals, Venizelos underlined, a broad national alliance of pro-European forces is required.
Venizelos also announced a radical reform of the country's social security and healthcare system, in which ''all Greeks, excluding nobody, will have a right to treatment." (ANSAmed).