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Independent Greeks

The Independent Greeks - National Patriotic Alliance (Greek: Ανεξάρτητοι Έλληνες (ΑΝΕΛ), Anexartitoi Ellines, ANEL) is a national-conservative[4][14][15] political party in Greece.

Independent Greeks

Ανεξάρτητοι Έλληνες
AbbreviationANEL
PresidentPanos Kammenos
General SecretaryKostas Karabelas
SpokespersonTheodoros Tosounidis
Founded24 February 2012; 7 years ago (2012-02-24)
Split fromNew Democracy[1]
Headquarters196, Syngrou Ave.
176 71 Athens
IdeologyGreek nationalism[2]
Conservatism[3]
National conservatism[4]
Social conservatism[4][5]
Right-wing populism[6][7]
Euroscepticism[8]
Political positionRight-wing[9][10][11]
ReligionGreek Orthodox
European affiliationNone
International affiliationNone
European Parliament groupNo MEPs
Colours         Blue, red
SloganWe are many—
We are independent—
We are Greeks
Parliament
0 / 300
European Parliament[12]
0 / 21
Regions [13]
51 / 703
Website
anexartitoiellines.gr

The party was the junior coalition partner to the Coalition of the Radical Left (Syriza) in the first and second Tsipras governments, from January 2015 until the June 2019 parliamentary election, in which the party did not participate.

HistoryEdit

The party was created on 24 February 2012 by Panos Kammenos, a former Member of Parliament (MP) for the conservative party New Democracy (ND).[16] Kammenos had been expelled from the New Democracy parliamentary group after voting against Lucas Papademos' coalition government in a vote of confidence. The party's founding declaration was issued on 11 March 2012.[17] Ten former ND deputies were founding members of the party, namely Elena Kountoura, Christos Zois, Kostas Markopoulos [el], Dimitrios G. Stamatis [el], Spyros Galinos, Mika Iatridi [el], Maria Kollia-Tsaroucha, Panagiotis Melas and Michalis Giannakis [el][18]

On 17 April 2012, the small left-wing anti-bailout party Panhellenic Citizen Chariot reached an election cooperation agreement with the Independent Greeks.[19]

Prior to the May 2012 legislative election, the party had 11 MPs: 10 defectors from New Democracy and one from Panhellenic Socialist Movement (PASOK).

The party won 10.6% of the vote and 33 MPs in the parliamentary election in May 2012.[20] In the snap June 2012 legislative election, ANEL received 7.5% of the vote, which reduced the party's representation to 20 MPs.[20]

In the 2014 European Parliament election held on 25 May 2014, ANEL received 3.5% of the vote, electing a single MEP who sits with the European Conservatives and Reformists (ECR) group. The MEP, Notis Marias, left ANEL, however, and is now an independent member of the ECR group.

In the January 2015 legislative election held on 25 January 2015, ANEL received 4.75% of the vote and returned 13 MPs to the Hellenic Parliament.[21] On 26 January 2015, ANEL agreed to form a governing coalition with the Coalition of the Radical Left.[22][23]

The second election of the year, the September 2015 legislative election on 20 September 2015, returned ANEL to parliament with 10 seats from 3.69% of the vote.[24] Syriza again agreed to form a coalition government with ANEL,[25] with the returning cabinet sworn in on 21 September.[26]

On 13 January 2019, Defence Minister Panos Kammenos and the Independent Greeks withdrew from Greece's ruling coalition over a deal struck on the Macedonia naming dispute, potentially leaving the governing coalition without a workable majority in parliament. However, the government was able to survive the confidence vote thanks to some ANEL dissidents.[27]

On 9 June 2019, party leader Panos Kammenos announced ANEL would not participate in the 2019 parliamentary election.[28]

IdeologyEdit

The party has been described as conservative,[3] national-conservative,[14][15] right-wing populist,[6][7] Greek nationalist,[2] and Eurosceptic.[8]

The party called for revoking the first and second memorandums, loan agreements between Greece, the EU and the International Monetary Fund.[6][7][16] Further, it considers the agreements illegal and calls for lifting immunity from and then investigating and prosecuting Greek ministers, parliamentarians, and officials who negotiated the agreements or who otherwise bear blame for Greece's economic crisis.[6][7][16]

In opposing the memorandums negotiated with 'The Troika', party leader Kammenos said Greece had become a "laboratory animal" in an austerity experiment conducted by the IMF and EU, who "used the public debt as a means of control."[29] Kammenos has focused much of his fire on Germany, stating that "Germany is not treating Greece as a partner but as its master. … It tries to turn a Europe of independent states into a Europe dominated by Germany."[30]

The party's official programme states it will repudiate part of Greece's debt because it was created by speculators in a conspiracy to bring Greece to the edge of bankruptcy.[30] It announced in December 2012 that it would start working to create a patriotic Democratic Front, whose aim is to save "Greece from the neo-liberal avalanche."[31]

The party also calls for German war reparations (for the invasion and occupation of Greece in the Second World War).[17]

On social policy, Independent Greeks oppose multiculturalism and want to reduce immigration,[32][33] and support development of a Christian Orthodox oriented education system.[34]

According to The Independent, the party has "a socially right-wing stance, supporting patriotism and the role of the Greek Orthodox Church in family life and education".[35]

Election resultsEdit

Hellenic ParliamentEdit

Election Hellenic Parliament Rank Government Leader
Votes % ±pp Seats won +/−
May 2012 670,957 10.6% New
33 / 300
 33 #4 Opposition Panos Kammenos
June 2012 462,406 7.5% -3.1
20 / 300
 13 #4 Opposition Panos Kammenos
January 2015 293,683 4.8% -2.7
13 / 300
 7 #6 Coalition gov't
SYRIZA-ANEL
Panos Kammenos
September 2015 200,423 3.7% -1.1
10 / 300
 3 #7 Coalition gov't 2015-2019
SYRIZA-ANEL
Panos Kammenos
2019 Did not run -3.7
0 / 300
 10 extra-parliamenary Panos Kammenos

European ParliamentEdit

European Parliament
Election Votes % ±pp Seats won +/− Rank Leader
2014 197,701 3.5% New
1 / 21
 1 #7 Panos Kammenos
2019 45,149 0.8% -2.7
0 / 21
 1 #15 Panos Kammenos

Members of ParliamentEdit

As of 25 January 2019 the Independent Greeks have six MPs in the Hellenic Parliament:

Name Constituency
Panagiotis (Panos) Kammenos Athens B
Kostas Katsikis Attica
Maria Kollia-Tsaroucha Serres
Athanasios Papachristopoulos [fr] Athens B
Konstantinos Zouraris Thessaloniki A
Artidis Fokas Thessaloniki B

On 19 November 2015 Nikolaos Nikolopoulos had been expelled from the Parliamentary Group of Independent Greeks.[36]

On 16 June 2018 Dimitrios Kammenos was expelled from the party, because he voted to topple the government in a recent no confidence vote tabled by Official Opposition party New Democracy. On 26 June Georgios Lazaridis left his party’s parliamentary group and declared himself independent citing opposition to the Greece-Republic of Macedonia naming agreement signed on 17 June 2018, as the reason for leaving the party.[37]

On 14 January 2019 Elena Kountoura and Vasilion Kokkalis were expelled from the party due to their continuing support for Tsipras government after Independent Greeks left it over the Prespa agreement dispute.[38]

On 15 January 2019 Aristidis Fokas elected on the list of Union of Centrists joined Independent Greeks.[39]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Kammenos attracts another New Democracy breakaway", Athens News, 20 March 2012, archived from the original on 2 April 2012
  2. ^ a b Loizides, Neophytos (2015). The Politics of Majority Nationalism: Framing Peace, Stalemates, and Crises. Stanford University Press. p. xxv.
  3. ^ a b Tom Lansford (2014). Political Handbook of the World 2014. SAGE Publications. p. 549. ISBN 978-1-4833-3327-4.
  4. ^ a b c Nordsieck, Wolfram (2019). "Greece". Parties and Elections in Europe.
  5. ^ "Venizelos draws battle lines for general elections", Ekathimerini, 15 March 2012
  6. ^ a b c d Boyka M. Stefanova (2014). The European Union beyond the Crisis: Evolving Governance, Contested Policies, and Disenchanted Publics. Lexington Books. p. 261. ISBN 978-1-4985-0348-8.
  7. ^ a b c d Christian Karner; Bram Mertens (2013). The Use and Abuse of Memory: Interpreting World War II in Contemporary European Politics. Transaction Publishers. p. 168. ISBN 978-1-4128-5203-6.
  8. ^ a b Mannin, Michael (2013). Evaluating the Europeanization Effect. The Europeanization of European Politics. Palgrave Macmillan. p. 210.
  9. ^ Susana Salgado (2019). "Not All About Trends: Persistent Singularities in Election News Coverage". In Susana Salgado (ed.). Mediated Campaigns and Populism in Europe. Springer. p. 173. ISBN 978-3-319-98563-3.
  10. ^ Squires, Nick. "Greek election: who are Independent Greeks?". The Daily Telegraph. London.
  11. ^ Chu, Ben. "Greece elections: Who are Syriza and what effect will their new government have on Europe?". The Independent. London.
  12. ^ http://www.europarl.europa.eu/meps/en/search.html?country=GR European Parliament: Greek MEPs
  13. ^ The counselors of the Regions.
  14. ^ a b Babak Amini (2016). "A Chronology of the European Sovereign Debt Crisis". In Babak Amini (ed.). The Radical Left in Europe in the Age of Austerity. Taylor & Francis. p. 178. ISBN 978-1-317-20251-6.
  15. ^ a b Dylan Taylor (2017). Social Movements and Democracy in the 21st Century. Springer. p. 239. ISBN 978-3-319-39684-2.
  16. ^ a b c "Ousted New Democracy MP starts own party", Ekathimerini, 24 February 2012
  17. ^ a b "Kammenos introduces Independent Greeks", Athens News, 11 March 2012, archived from the original on 14 March 2012
  18. ^ "Ten former ND MPs move with Kammenos", Capital, 14 March 2012
  19. ^ "ekathimerini.com - Profile of parties running in May 6 Greek elections". ekathimerini.com.
  20. ^ a b Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc. (1 March 2013). Britannica Book of the Year 2013. Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc. p. 427. ISBN 978-1-62513-103-4.
  21. ^ "Parliamentary Elections January 2015". Archived from the original on 26 January 2015. Retrieved 12 February 2019.
  22. ^ "Greece anti-bailout leader Tsipras made prime minister". BBC News.
  23. ^ "Syriza and Independent Greeks agree Greece coalition". BBC News. 25 January 2015.
  24. ^ Anastasios Papapostolou. "Greek Elections: Official Final Results". greekreporter.com.
  25. ^ "SYRIZA chief confirms plan to form government with Independent Greeks". ekathimerini.com.
  26. ^ Helena Smith. "Alexis Tsipras takes oath of office after victory in Greece general election". The Guardian. London.
  27. ^ https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2019/01/greek-government-splits-macedonia-change-190113183705772.html
  28. ^ Chrysopoulos, Philip. "Independent Greeks Out of Parliamentary Election Race | GreekReporter.com". Retrieved 7 July 2019.
  29. ^ "Greek election: who are Independent Greeks?". The Daily Telegraph. London. 26 January 2015.
  30. ^ a b "Greek conservative rebel battles German "domination"", National Post, 23 April 2012
  31. ^ Independent Greeks respond to the scenarios for the collapse of the party with a founding congress grreporter.info
  32. ^ "ΔΗΛΩΣΗ ΤΗΣ ΒΟΥΛΕΥΤΟΥ Α΄ΘΕΣΣΑΛΟΝΙΚΗΣ ΤΩΝ ΑΝΕΞΑΡΤΗΤΩΝ ΕΛΛΗΝΩΝ ΧΡΥΣΟΥΛΑΣ – ΜΑΡΙΑΣ ΓΙΑΤΑΓΑΝΑ". Anexartitoiellines.gr. 12 March 2013. Retrieved 18 March 2015.
  33. ^ "ΟΜΙΛΙΑ ΤΗΣ ΕΙΔΙΚΗΣ ΑΓΟΡΗΤΡΙΑΣ ΤΩΝ ΑΝΕΞΑΡΤΗΤΩΝ ΕΛΛΗΝΩΝ, ΒΟΥΛΕΥΤΟΥ ΜΑΓΝΗΣΙΑΣ ΜΑΡΙΝΑΣ ΧΡΥΣΟΒΕΛΩΝΗ ΣΤΗ ΒΟΥΛΗ ΚΑΤΑ ΤΗ ΣΥΖΗΤΗΣΗ ΕΠΙ ΤΗΣ ΑΡΧΗΣ ΤΟΥ ΣΧΕΔΙΟΥ ΝΟΜΟΥ ΤΟΥ ΥΠΟΥΡΓΕΙΟΥ ΕΣΩΤΕΡΙΚΩΝ ΓΙΑ ΤΗ ΜΕΤΑΝΑΣΤΕΥΣΗ ΚΑΙ ΤΗΝ ΚΟΙΝΩΝΙΚΗ ΕΝΤΑΞΗ ΜΕΤΑΝΑΣΤΩΝ". Anexartitoiellines.gr. 19 March 2014. Retrieved 18 March 2015.
  34. ^ "Η παρουσίαση του κόμματος ΑΝΕΞΑΡΤΗΤΟΙ ΕΛΛΗΝΕΣ από τον Πάνο Καμμένο στο Δίστομο στις" (PDF). Anexartitoiellines.gr. 11 March 2012. Retrieved 18 March 2015.
  35. ^ Lizzie Dearden (26 January 2015). "Independent Greeks: Who are Syriza's right-wing coalition partners and what do they want? -". The Independent. London. Retrieved 18 March 2015.
  36. ^ [1]
  37. ^ Οnline, Τα Νέα. "Independent Greeks MP resigns party after grass roots pressure on FYROM". Τα Νέα Οnline (in Greek). Retrieved 27 June 2018.
  38. ^ "Κουντουρά - Κόκκαλης στηρίζουν την κυβέρνηση και διαγράφονται από τους ΑΝΕΛ". ΑΘΗΝΑ984 (in Greek). 14 January 2019. Retrieved 14 January 2019.
  39. ^ Στην ΚΟ των ΑΝΕΛ ο Αριστείδης Φωκάς

External linksEdit