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PD joining European Socialists 'historic' says PES leader

'Family complete' says Stanishev

27 February, 19:50
PD joining European Socialists 'historic' says PES leader (see previous).

(ANSA) - Rome, February 27 - The centre-left Italian Democratic Party's (PD) decision to join the Party of European Socialists (PES) is "historic", PES President Serghei Stanishev said after leaving a PD executive meeting that voted 121 to one with two abstentions to back the move.

"It's a historic moment not only for the PD but for all the European Socialist family because without the PD the family was incomplete," he said.

Earlier Stanishev voiced confidence that the PD's request to join will be approved at its annual congress in Rome on February 28 and March 1. Bulgarian Socialist Party leader Stanishev is scheduled to meet with Italy's freshly appointed Premier Matteo Renzi, the PD leader, during his trip.

The PD's twin souls, heirs to the once-powerful Italian Communist Party (PCI) and the Christian Socialist wing of the once-dominant Christian Democrat Party (DC), had been arguing for years whether to join the PES.

The post-PCI wing had been largely in favour and the post-DC one largely against.

Several high-profile exponents of the post-DC strain left the party recently.