Greece Gets New Right-Wing Party

ATHENS – Already awash in dozens of parties in a fractured political landscape, a new right-wing party called Radical National Rally or RIZES (Roots) for short has been launched.

The group was formed by Independent Greeks (ANEL) lawmaker Vassilis Kapernaros, who is currently sitting as a nonaligned lawmaker. ANEL was formed by Panos Kammenos, a disaffected former member of the ruling right-wing Conservative party of Prime Minister Antonis Samaras.

RIZES’ founding charter was submitted to the Supreme Court but the party will not run in the upcoming general elections on Jan. 25.

“We will not take part in these elections of bigotry and cheap fanaticism. We are preparing for the next elections,” said Kapernaros, who said he is vehemently opposed to the harsh austerity measures imposed by Samaras’ coalition, which includes the fading PASOK Socialists, on orders of international lenders, led by Germany.

“From today, we stand as a wall against those who serve German interests and who think that Greeks can live under a regime of fear, humiliation and no dignity,” said Kapernaros.

The party’s charter was signed by 213 people but this did not include former cabinet secretary Panayiotis Baltakos, a key adviser to Samaras, who had announced in December that he would be launching the party.

Baltakos was forced out of New Democracy for cozying up to the ultra far-right Golden Dawn party, all of whose 18 lawmakers have been arrested on charges of running a criminal gang. He reportedly wanted New Democracy to align itself the with the accused criminals.