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Extreme Right Makes Gains in Greek Elections

Extreme Right Greek elections
The Greek Parliament is bracing for new MPs with extreme-right, ultra-nationalist views. Credit: AMNA

Three fringe parties of the extreme right and one of the extreme left are the newcomers in Greek politics after Sunday’s elections.

The big surprise is a new extreme right-wing formation called The Spartans which got 4.64 percent and gained 12 seats in the new Parliament.

The grouping was catapulted from relative obscurity after support from Ilias Kasiadiaris, the frontman of the now-banned Golden Dawn far-right party. His own party was barred from the elections and he endorsed the Spartans from jail.

The Spartans represent all the ideals and values of Hellenism, said leader Vassilis Stigas in statements on Sunday evening. The 59-year-old was a helicopter engineer and served as an army aviation officer.

Spartans have arrived “to unite, not divide,” he said, adding that “a national party, a national voice will again be in Parliament, after a long time.”

Stigas also thanked Kasiadiaris for his support.

Kasidiaris hails success of the extreme right in the Greek elections

The Golden Dawn strongman hailed the success of The Spartans by posting a photo from outside his cell celebrating and wearing a tee shirt with the logo of the party.

“Today is a day of triumph for the Greeks who have been fighting for the Fatherland and at the same time an unprecedented defeat of the power system. The state failed to ban the original request of hundreds of thousands of Greeks for a strong National opposition. The first step towards the establishment of a strong National faction in the country’s political life has already been taken,” Kasidiaris said.

In October 2020, he was convicted of directing a criminal organization and sentenced to 13 years in prison.

Pro-Russia, anti-immigration parties in Greek Parliament

Greek Solution, a nationalist, pro-Russia party formed by former journalist and TV salesman Kyriakos Velopoulos, got 4.47 percent of the vote and will be presented in Parliament with 12 MPs.

Velopoulos slammed pollsters in his statement at the end of election day on Sunday, blaming them for misleading viewers that his party would not make it into Parliament even though results pointed to the opposite.

Extreme Right Greek elections
Velopoulos cast his vote on Sunday. Credit: AMNA

He emphasizes action against illegal immigration, including the installation of an electric fence on the Greece–Turkey border and detaining illegal immigrants on uninhabited islands as they await deportation.

The party also advocates for shutting down NGOs operating in Greece, describing them as “trafficking companies”. Velopoulos has expressed admiration for Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán and the governance of his Fidesz party in Hungary, particularly the country’s economic and migration policies

Niki, or Victory party which emphasizes Orthodox Christian traditions got 3.71 percent and 10 MPs.

Founded by educator Dimitris Natsios in 2019 its positions are defined as the triptych “Faith, Nation, Family”.

Extreme Right Greek elections
Dimitris Natsios leader of Niki party. Credit: AMNA

Niki will mount “a real opposition in the upcoming Parliament’, said Natsios in his statement late on Sunday.

The party, he said, is “not just fighting for those who honored us with their votes, but for the entire Greek people, not only for our voters, and definitely for the silent majority that abstained from voting.”

With respect “for the vote of our fellow citizens and in fear of the Lord, we shall march fighting for the victory of Hellenism, the victory of human dignity, and the victory of the common people,” Natsios underlined.

Niki advocates the radical restructuring of education, the change of the regime for the acquisition of Greek citizenship by immigrants and refugees, the separation of state-parties, the taking of measures to solve the demographic problem as well as the economic and moral reward of multiple children and the support of the traditional family.

It maintains a neutral attitude towards third countries, favoring Orthodoxy as a unifying element of the Balkan peoples. It disagrees with Greece’s support for Ukraine regarding Russia’s invasion, instead preferring neutrality.

On the left of the political spectrum, the newcomer is Plefsi Eleftherias, or Passage to Freedom, which got 3.17 percent and 8 MPs. Its leader Zoe Konstantopoulou, a leftist firebrand, was the parliament speaker under SYRIZA.

Zoe Konstantopoulou. Credit: AMNA

Konstantopoulou promised that her party’s level of political opposition in the upcoming new Parliament “will be unequaled by any other party or any other deputy,” and that although her party only has 8 deputies, she will personally “count for 100 deputies” and the rest of her deputies “as 20 each.”

Voters have decided that there should be a woman leading a party in Parliament, “the only female party leader in Parliament,” she stressed.

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