Takis Baltakos, former cabinet secretary and righthand man of Prime Minister Antonis Samaras, is planning to create a new rightwing political force that could include “serious” figures from Golden Dawn, a Sunday newspaper has reported.
Baltakos was forced to resign in April after a video surfaced showing him engaged in what appeared to be friendly conversation with Golden Dawn MP Ilias Kasidiaris.
According to “Ethnos,” Baltakos hopes to have the new party established by February at the latest. The newspaper also claims that Kasidiaris, currently pending trial with other Golden Dawn members on charges of running a criminal organization, is involved in this venture.
Excluded from the party would be Golden Dawn’s leader, Nikos Michaoliakos, who, along with other Golden Dawn figures, is viewed by those planning the new entity as a liability.
Since his resignation as the most powerful official in the government, Baltakos has made no secret of his political plans. Asked in August if he had plans to form a new party, he said that “when the time comes, everything will have been done.”
In a frank interview with To Vima in August, Baltakos, who described the Orthodox church and Greek armed forces as “pillars of the nation,” said that it was imperative for New Democracy to swing to the right to win over the 16.5% of the electorate that lies to its extreme.
“It’s the only way. If New Democracy does not turn to the right to absorb the majority of rightwing voters, this gap will be filled. The fairytale of the left must end. It’s time to exonerate the right [of its] unjustified guilt,” he said.
He envisaged a Greek version of a Gaullist party, to be led by a military man. “He should be a strong personality, between de Gaulle and Papagos”.
In 1949, Field Marshall Alexandros Papagos led the nationalist forces to victory against communist insurgents in the Greek civil war. He was also prime minister from 1952 to 1955, serving as leader of the Greek Rally party. Konstantinos Karamanlis, who would form New Democracy in 1974, was a former Greek Rally MP.
In his To Vima interview, Baltakos confirmed that he had met with former Greek army general staff chief Frangoulis Frangos, who is known for his strong views on national issues, but gave no details about the content of their talks.
Along with other military leaders, Frangos retired from his position in November 2011, shortly before Prime Minister George Papandreou was forced to resign as prime minister. To Vima later linked the replacement of the country’s top military brass with a coup “that didn’t happen.”
Last month, a daily newspaper revealed that Baltakos maintained direct lines of communication with Golden Dawn, even to the point of instructing the neo-Nazi party on how to vote in parliament and congratulating its MPs for their rowdy behaviour.