ATHENS – The new Greeks for the Fatherland party begun earlier this year by the ex-spokesman for the neo-Nazi Golden Dawn, whose former lawmakers and dozens of members are on trial on charges of running a criminal gang, has a familiar platform.
That's because it looks like a copy-and-paste of the agenda used by Golden Dawn, which was in Parliament from 2012 to July 7, 2019 when it just barely failed, with 2.93 percent of the vote, to reach the 3 percent needed to return.
The trial is now in its fifth year and shows no signs of ending, and the party's disintegration was too much for ex-spokesman Elias Kasidiaris – one of the defendants – who broke away after the election loss and set up his facsimile party.
He had been the mouthpiece for Golden Dawn leader Nikolaos Michaloliakos, with all the party's former Members of Parliament and dozens of members facing an array of charges, including one, Giorgos Roupakias, accused of the murder of anti-Fascist hip-hop artists Pavlos Fyssas in 2013.
The site Open Democracy said Kasidiaris' party's agenda looks curiously the same as Golden Dawn's however, which authorities said was aimed at ridding Greece of migrants and was anti-Semitic and dispensed hate.
He quit after his proposal to reorganize a party in shambles was rejected by Michaloliakos, the report said in which the former spokesman was said to be jockeying to take over.
Kasidiaris proposed changing the party’s name in order to attract more people, rejecting Nazi methodology Golden Dawn was said to be using and try to keep it from falling apart faster.
The announcement of the new party was on YouTube, the report said, adding that he attacked the mainstream political system and called for opposition to the “dirty political system” he reportedly said is prevalent.
He called on people to follow the new party with the slogan that “Greece belongs to the Greeks,” a sign he would, as did Golden Dawn, want the ouster of anyone who is not 100 percent Greek.
A second video revealed the name Greeks for the Fatherland with a distinctly Nazi edge and said it was a movement for the “national preservation and revival of Hellenism,” and its emblem is “The eternal Greek who fights for freedom.”
That depicts an ancient Spartan-like warrior holding a shield with a background of Greek blue and white of the national flag, and a ray of sun, like a golden dawn, indicating Kasidiaris wasn't ready to shed everything from his former party.
“The new party’s ideology doesn’t seem to be much different from that of Golden Dawn: reward motherhood, focus on ending illegal immigration, support the expansion of the Greek Geo-strategic Doctrine and exploitation of national resources, strengthen the defensive doctrine, zero-tolerance law and order, and ending corruption,” the website also said.
In the few months since it began it claims to have more than 20,000 registered members and apparently aims at getting Golden Dawn castoffs and fishing for supporters from the equally far-right Greek Solution party in Parliament and even going after some voters from the ruling New Democracy Conservatives.