Greeks for the Fatherland
Έλληνες για την Πατρίδα
PresidentIlias Kasidiaris
FounderIlias Kasidiaris
Founded4 June 2020 (2020-06-04)
Split fromGolden Dawn
HeadquartersKlisthenous 17, Athens
Youth wingHellenes Youth
IdeologyAnti-immigration[1][2][3][4]
Islamophobia[2]
Russophilia[5][6]
Nativism[7]
Nationalism[8]
Neo-fascism[2]
Political positionFar-right[1][2][3][9][10][4]
ReligionGreek Orthodox Church
Colours  Blue
Hellenic Parliament
0 / 300
European Parliament
0 / 21
Regional Governors
0 / 13
Regional councils
17 / 703
Mayors
0 / 332
Municipal councils
37 / 12,978
Website
ellhnes.net

Greeks for the Fatherland (Greek: Έλληνες για την Πατρίδα, romanizedÉllines gia tin Patrída) is a Greek far-right[7][11] political party with ties to extremism,[7][8][12] founded on 4 June 2020, by Ilias Kasidiaris, who is currently serving a 13-year prison term for his involvement in the criminal organisation[13][14][15][16][17] run by Golden Dawn. He previously served as MP and spokesperson of Golden Dawn for eight consecutive years from 2012 to 2019.

History

After Golden Dawn's failure to secure seats in the 2019 Greek legislative election,[18][19][20] prominent members of the party stepped down from their positions and distanced themselves from leader Nikolaos Michaloliakos.[21] Noticeably, Giannis Lagos MEP announced his departure from Golden Dawn, along with Giorgos Germenis, Nikos Kouzilos and Panagiotis Iliopoulos to start a new party called National Popular Consciousness.[22][23][24] All of them were later sentenced to lengthy prison terms as a result of their involvement in running a criminal organisation.[13]

Similarly, on 21 May 2020[25] and after much speculation, Ilias Kasidiaris announced his resignation from Golden Dawn via YouTube, and the creation of a new party led by himself, under the name Greeks for the Fatherland.[26][27] However, he was arrested in October 2020 right after the announcement of his convinction.[28] In May 2021, the Greek Parliament voted to impose partial bans on all convicted members of Golden Dawn, including Ilias Kasidiaris, which stripped them of some political rights.[29] As of 2022, Kasidiaris remains in prison and maintains his right to be elected as party member, but is not allowed to stand for leader of a party.[30] Former Golden Dawn MP Konstantinos Barbarousis, who is also serving his prison sentence, and former Golden Dawn MEP Lampros Fountoulis have joined the party.[31][32]

Ideology and ties to neo-Nazism

Academics, Greek and International media describe Greeks for the Fatherland as extremist[7][8] and far-right.[33][34] Whilst as an offspring of Golden Dawn, the party appears to share similar views with its core ideology,[35] mainly in terms of Islamophobia, anti-migration and rejection of globalization. Although the party has not openly embraced neo-Nazism and Kasidiaris' statement in 2020 rejected Nazism,[36] its political ideology is being questioned in relation to the past events and recent split from Golden Dawn.[33][37][38] The party is person-centric with Ilias Kasidiaris being the leading voice.[39]

In 2021 and 2022, Ilias Kasidiaris expressed pro-Russian views[5] and supported[6] the invasion of Ukraine. He also promoted anti-vaccination disinformation[40][41] during the COVID-19 pandemic,[30] calling the health crisis a conspiracy[42] and asking his supporters to resist mandates.[43] Many Greek media sources have described his frequent interventions and public announcements from prison as propagandistic and hateful.[44][45][46][47][48][49] Several Greek MPs and journalists questioned the reasons behind Kasidiaris' access to internet and also his frequent broadcasts while in prison.[50][51] His activity caught the attention of Greece’s general secretary for anti-crime policy, Sofia Nikolaou, who told the prison administrators Kasidiaris should not be allowed to use the prison’s phone to make political statements “that go as far as inciting hatred."[52]

A member of Greeks of the Fatherland is associated with the fringe antivax group Thematofylakes tou Syntagmatos (Greek: Θεματοφύλακες του Συντάγματος). He was among a group of Thematofylakes tou Syntagmatos members that were arrested for insurrection, violence against public workers, and the kidnapping of a school headmaster in Pieria.[53] Some youth neo-Nazi groups in Central Greece have also been linked to Greeks for the Fatherland in late 2021 after their involvement in violent student protests.[54][55]

Polling

Recent analyses show that the party is currently polling between 1% and 3%.[56][57][58][59]

References

  1. ^ a b "In Greece, a new far right movement is taking the stage". Archived from the original on 13 September 2020. Retrieved 13 September 2020.
  2. ^ a b c d ""Greeks for the Fatherland": Ilias Kasidiaris and Greece's New Far-Right Party". foiaresearch.net. FOIA Research. Archived from the original on 25 June 2021. Retrieved 12 September 2020.
  3. ^ a b "Greeks for the Fatherland Looks Like Golden Dawn Remake". thenationalherald.com. New York City: The National Herald. Archived from the original on 25 June 2021. Retrieved 21 August 2020.
  4. ^ a b ""Greeks": Kasidiaris presented the name of the new far-right party [video]". thetoc.ge (in Greek). TheToc Team. Retrieved 4 June 2020.
  5. ^ a b "«Ειρηνόφιλοι» οι Έλληνες νεοναζί". HuffPost Greece (in Greek). 3 March 2022. Retrieved 1 May 2022.
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  7. ^ a b c d Karakatsouli, Anna (2021). "Conflicting Claims over the Legacy of 1821: The Case of the Far Right in Greece". Journal of Modern Greek Studies. 39 (1): 71–91. doi:10.1353/mgs.2021.0004. ISSN 1086-3265.
  8. ^ a b c Boukala, Salomi (9 December 2021). "Far-right discourse as legitimacy? Analysing political rhetoric on the "migration issue" in Greece". Studies in Communication Sciences. 21 (2): 329–341–329–341. doi:10.24434/j.scoms.2021.02.014. ISSN 2296-4150.
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  11. ^ Samaras, Georgios (22 September 2021). "Golden Dawn's Visual Diary: An Analysis of Content Shared by Greek Extremists on Youtube from 2012 to 2019". Rochester, NY. doi:10.2139/ssrn.3873562. ((cite journal)): Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
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