ATHENS – A nationalist, religious-based party, Niki (Victory) just missed getting enough of the vote in the May 21 first round of Greek elections and is close to the 3 percent needed to win seats in the June 25 second ballot.
The party is led by an elementary school teacher, Dimitris Natsios, and got 2.92 percent in the first round, jumping up after the Parliament and courts barred the Ellines (Greeks) party of the former spokesman for the neo-Nazi Golden Dawn party who’s running it from jail.
He founded Niki in 2019 when the New Democracy Conservatives routed the then-ruling Radical Left SYRIZA in a snap poll and did it again in the May 21 ballot and is poised to win big enough on June 25 to have single-party rule.
Niki soared in the days leading up to the elections despite a platform that is based on jingoism, and has homophobic and conspiracy theory themes and wants the country based on Christian values.
That hasn’t found favor in some quarters, including the Church. “Vote-getting cynicism and the weaponization of religious sentiment… are enormous threats to the political system and society,” said Metropolitan of Alexandroupoli Anthimos.
In an interview with The European Conservative, Natsios said his party wants to “end Greece’s rotten ‘partyocracy’ and to see this unfortunate but blessed land governed by people who come from the heart of our society, who understand day-to-day realities and challenges, but who also represent Greek values, such as philopatry, faith in Christ, and integrity of character.”
He added that, “As long as our nation has spiritual antibodies, it can face any threat supported by our history and the unity of our people,” and he resorts to raising the specter of God.
“It is true that God has not stopped performing miracles, but in order for such miracles to occur, He must see people doing their part. Miracles cannot occur if we sit on the couch,” he said.
“Niki is a genuine patriotic voice that comes from the ordinary Greek people, since it does not accept as members of its ranks former deputies or government officials of any shade,” he added.
The party said it’s “based on clear values of Russianness, without ‘right-wing’ and ‘left-wing’ blinders or general ‘patriotism’ of dubious moral values, distancing itself from circles of ideas incompatible with Christian moral values,” it disdains.
Natsios refers to the Cyprus problem, memorials for the… “brilliant brave men of EOKA, anti-communism and anti-Europeanism, attacks on the media, references to “aching and unrepentant Romion” … (and) “vomitous pedophilia in textbooks,” and the need to build “Hellenism schools.”