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GreekReporter.comGreek NewsJailed Former Golden Dawn Leader to Run for Athens Mayor

Jailed Former Golden Dawn Leader to Run for Athens Mayor

Ilias Kasidiaris
Ilias Kasidiaris, former deputy head of Golden Dawn, announced that he will run to become the mayor of Athens.. Credit: DTRocks / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY 4.0

On Thursday, Ilias Kasidiaris, the former deputy leader of Golden Dawn who is currently serving a jail sentence, announced his intention to run for Athens mayor.

In a statement presented by his lawyer, Vassiliki Pantazi, Kasidiaris revealed his plans to run for the mayoral elections in Athens with the political party Free Athenians. He expressed his goal of making it to the second round of the elections and ultimately being elected as the mayor.

Kasidiaris’ former political party, Golden Dawn, was banned in Greece in October 2020. The party espoused a far-right, neo-nazi, and ultranationalist ideology, and its leadership was embroiled in a five-year-long criminal investigation that culminated in several prominent prison sentences.

Former Golden Dawn deputy leader Ilias Kasidiaris to run for Athens Mayor

“Athens can and must preserve its Greek identity and historical character, not succumb to the onslaught of globalization and the visible risk of replacing its Greek population,” said Kasidiaris. “The Christian faith and tradition of Athens will be preserved intact,” he added in another part of the statement.

“Our priority is the well-being, safety, and economic development of the Athenian citizen. United, we can once again make Athens the capital of the Greeks,” Kasidiaris concluded.

Currently, the government is taking steps to introduce a new amendment aimed at preventing Kasidiaris from participating in the upcoming mayoral elections, similar to how he was blocked from running in the general elections on May 21 and June 25 of this year.

Links with the “Spartans” Party

During the previous election cycle, the Supreme Court had prohibited his candidacy, prompting Kasidiaris to openly endorse the far-right Spartiates (Spartans) party.

Thanks to his support, the Spartans party managed to secure 4.7% of the vote, earning 13 seats in the 300-member parliament. Vassilis Stigas, the leader of the Spartans party, publicly expressed gratitude to Kasidiaris for backing their cause.

“I thank Ilias Kasidiaris for being the fuel that gave us the impetus to reach this result,” Stigas said at the time.

The Spartans consider that the traditions of Hellenism are missing from public life nowadays and describe themselves as “the iron arm and the real bulwark that will stop the decline and the sell-out of Greece and the Greeks.”

Shortly after the election, Kasidiaris 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,” he said. “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.”

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