Spartans (Greek political party)

Spartans (Greek: Σπαρτιάτες, romanizedSpartiátes) is a far-right political party in Greece, founded in 2017 by Vasilis Stigkas.[7] It is often described as far-right or extreme-right due to its strong connections with Golden Dawn.[8][9][10]

Spartans
Σπαρτιάτες
PresidentVasilis Stigkas
SpokespersonDimos Kyrilidis
FounderVasilis Stigkas
Founded5 December 2017 (2017-12-05)
Split fromRadical National Rally [el]
IdeologyUltranationalism[1][2]
Ultraconservatism[1]
Political positionFar-right[3][4][5][6]
ReligionGreek Orthodox Church
Colors  Gold
  Red
  Black
Hellenic Parliament
7 / 300
European Parliament
0 / 21
Regional councillors
2 / 611
Municipal councillors
2 / 8,481
Website
spartiates.gr

The party gained significant traction in national polls in mid-June, following an endorsement on Twitter by Ilias Kasidiaris,[11] a former Golden Dawn MP and nationalist politician who had been convicted in the trial declaring Golden Dawn a criminal organisation. Kasidiaris urged his supporters to vote for Spartans in the June 2023 election.

Given that many of its members of parliament have previously been associated with either Golden Dawn or Kasidiaris' party Greeks for the Fatherland, which was banned from participating in the 2023 elections, Spartans has been seen as a continuation of Golden Dawn.[12] Some sources have even labelled it as Kasidiaris' "trojan horse".[13][8]

History

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In the late 1980s, Vasilis Stigkas first joined New Democracy for a few years at the time when Konstantinos Mitsotakis was Prime Minister. Unsatisfied with the party, he followed then Foreign Minister Antonis Samaras into his new Political Spring party, after the latter was dismissed from his position over his stance on the Macedonia naming dispute.[14]

In the early 2000s, Stigkas joined the LAOS party of Georgios Karatzaferis. He left after the party's support for the memorandum in 2012 while it participated in the coalition government of Lucas Papademos.[14]

He created the Spartans party in 2017, while participating in political programs on the YouTube channel of Konstantinos Plevris and Tasos Simigdalas. During that time, he interviewed different political personalities such as leftist Panagiotis Lafazanis,[15] centrist Vasilis Leventis[16] and Golden Dawner Ioannis Lagos.[17] After 2019 Stigkas hosted a weekly show supporting the neo-Nazi party National Popular Consciousness.

For the European parliamentary election of May 2019, an electoral alliance was announced with the party Union of Centrists of Vasilis Leventis.[18] Stigkas received 752 votes nationwide.[19] In the national legislative elections of 2019, Stigkas participated once more on the Boeotia ballot list of the Union of Centrists,[20] receiving 35 votes.[21]

In December 2020, the formation of a coalition was announced by ELASYN, the Popular Hellenic Patriotic Union (LEPEN), the "Spartans" party, the United Front of Greek Ideology of Compatriots (EMEIS) and the Front Line, with the prospect of a joint electoral descent with the name K.Y.M.A of Hellenism.[22] In February 2021, the coalition announced the collaboration of the formation with the retired captain and chief of the Popular Citizens Movement (LAKIP) Andreas Petropoulos.

On 8 June 2023, the party Spartans was allowed to participate in the upcoming legislative elections of June 2023 by the Supreme Court of Greece. Following the exclusion of the far-right National Party – Greeks of Ilias Kasidiaris from both the May and June 2023 elections, Kasidiaris announced his "full support" for the party of Stigkas.[23][24] Subsequently, the party gained a 4.68% in the June 2023 Greek legislative election,[25] winning a total of 12 seats in the new parliament.

Less than three months after the elections, three MPs were expelled from the parliamentary group by Stigkas, with the party's president citing their absence from the parliament as the reason for their expulsion.[26] In early September, two more MPs became independent, leaving the party with 7 out of its original 12 seats. On September 7, four of the newly independent MPs were reintegrated into the party's parliamentary group.

Ideology

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The party is considered to be ultranationalist, ultraconservative, anti-LGBT/homophobic and positioned on the far-right of the political spectrum.[1] The party describes itself as a supporter of the “popular patriotic right”, of the triptych “homeland–religion–family” and of the “sane Greek nationalism”.[1][27]

The party takes a pro-Israel stance, strongly condemning the 2023 Hamas-led attack on Israel and criticising Turkey’s support for Hamas.[28][29]

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At least 10 members and politicians of the National Party – Greeks, including one of Kasidiaris' lawyers, were on the Spartans' ballot lists.[30] Stigkas openly supported the National Popular Consciousness of convicted neo-Nazi Giannis Lagos,[31] and later turned out to be a member of the National Party – Greeks. In May 2023 Greek legislative election, Spartans did not participate and were not involved in the discussion of the possible parties that Ilias Kasidiaris would support. After the second ban from the elections by the Supreme Court, Kasidiaris and members of his party openly supported Spartans.[32][33] In his first public statement after the election, Stigkas openly thanked Kasidiaris for "[being] the fuel that has propelled us to [entering parliament]".[34]

Faced with a surprise revolt in July 2023, the leader of the party Vasilis Stigkas encountered a situation in which nine members of parliament issued a statement against him.[35] They cited unethical and unacceptable remarks made by MP Konstantinos Floros. Earlier in the day at the parliament, Floros had openly expressed his joy for the candidacy of the neo-Nazi and convicted leader of the criminal organization Golden Dawn in the municipality of Athens, Ilias Kasidiaris.[36] The incident further solidified the perception that Kasidiaris functions as the de facto leader of the Spartans party.

Electoral results

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Election Hellenic Parliament Rank Government Leader
Votes % ±pp Seats won +/−
2019 70,178

(with Union of Centrists)

1.24% New
0 / 300
New 9th Extra-parliamentary Vasilis Stigkas
2023 243,922 4.68% +3.44%
12 / 300
+12 5th Opposition Vasilis Stigkas
Election Votes Seats
# % Rank # ±
2019 82,075
(with Union of Centrists)
1.45% 10th
0 / 21
new

References

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  1. ^ a b c d "Σπαρτιάτες: Το κόμμα της ακροδεξιάς πολυκατοικίας που στηρίζει ο Κασιδιάρης". in.gr (in Greek). 8 June 2023. Retrieved 9 June 2023.
  2. ^ Franklin, Peter (26 June 2023). "How the EU destroyed the Greek Left". UnHerd. Retrieved 12 June 2024.
  3. ^ Underhill, Hester (12 July 2023). "The new Spartans on the march: In Greece, the far-right is bouncing back into the political mainstream". The New European.
  4. ^ "Greek top court bars far-right Spartans party from EU election race". Reuters. 24 April 2024. Retrieved 12 June 2024.
  5. ^ Kirby, Paul (26 June 2023). "Greek elections: Mitsotakis hails conservative win as mandate for reform". BBC News. Retrieved 12 June 2024.
  6. ^ Stamatoukou, Eleni (1 September 2023). "Greece's Far-Right Spartans Risks Collapse as Leader Suspends MPs". Balkan Insight. Retrieved 12 June 2024.
  7. ^ "Ιδρυτική Διακήρυξη".
  8. ^ a b "In the most recent election, Greek far right made a sinister comeback". euronews. 4 July 2023. Retrieved 4 July 2023.
  9. ^ Smith, Helena (26 June 2023). "Greek voters propel new far-right Spartans group into parliament". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 4 July 2023.
  10. ^ "Far-right victories in Greece highlight trend across Europe". NBC News. 27 June 2023. Retrieved 4 July 2023.
  11. ^ Kambas, Michele; Maltezou, Renee (29 June 2023). "From behind bars, Greek far-right populist propels ultra-nationalists". Reuters. Retrieved 4 July 2023.
  12. ^ Fallon, Katy. "'Very worrying': Three far-right parties enter Greek parliament". www.aljazeera.com. Retrieved 4 July 2023.
  13. ^ "Greece: Far right makes resurgence – DW – 06/30/2023". dw.com. Retrieved 4 July 2023.
  14. ^ a b Κανέλλης, Βασίλης Σ (8 June 2023). "Σπαρτιάτες: Ακροδεξιός λόγος, σχέσεις με Λαγό και Κασιδιάρη και "ψάρεμα" στα θολά νερά του εθνικισμού". in.gr (in Greek). Retrieved 16 June 2023.
  15. ^ Κρήτης, Αγώνας της (6 November 2018). "Κι όμως, ο Λαφαζάνης στο κανάλι του Πλεύρη | Βίντεο". Αγώνας της Κρήτης. Retrieved 16 June 2023.
  16. ^ Βασίλης Λεβέντης με το Βασίλη Στίγκα, 8-3-2019, retrieved 16 June 2023
  17. ^ Εκπομπή ΕΛΑΣΥΝ : Σήμερα στις 23:00 ο Γ. Λαγός καλεσμένος του Β. Στίγκα στο Extra channel, retrieved 16 June 2023
  18. ^ "Στο ευρωψηφοδέλτιο της Ένωσης Κεντρώων θα είναι υποψήφιος ο πρόεδρος της πολιτικής κίνησης "ΣΠΑΡΤΙΑΤΕΣ" κ. Βασίλης Στίγκας". enosi-kentroon.gr.
  19. ^ "Ευρωεκλογές". ekloges-prev.singularlogic.eu (in Greek). May 2019. Archived from the original on 27 June 2023. Retrieved 7 July 2023.
  20. ^ "Εκλογές 2023: Οι… περίεργοι συνδυασμοί, οι ανατροπές και οι καραμπόλες στις λίστες των κομμάτων". protothema.gr. 9 June 2023.
  21. ^ "Εθνικές εκλογές". ekloges-prev.singularlogic.eu (in Greek). July 2019. Retrieved 7 July 2023.
  22. ^ MM (21 December 2020). ΙΣΧΥΣ ΕΝ ΤΗ ΕΝΩΣΕΙ. ΕΛΑΣΥΝ (in Greek). Retrieved 22 December 2020.
  23. ^ "Εκλογές 2023: Τους «Σπαρτιάτες» στηρίζει ο Κασιδιάρης μετά το νέο «μπλόκο»". ΤΟ ΒΗΜΑ (in Greek). 8 June 2023.
  24. ^ "Εκλογές 2023: Τα 32 κόμματα που συμμετέχουν". protothema.gr. 8 June 2023.
  25. ^ Smith, Helena (26 June 2023). "Greek voters propel new far-right Spartans group into parliament". the Guardian. Retrieved 16 August 2023.
  26. ^ Newsroom (1 September 2023). "Spartans imploding | eKathimerini.com". www.ekathimerini.com. Retrieved 2 September 2023.
  27. ^ ""Σπαρτιάτες": Αυτό είναι το ακροδεξιό κόμμα που στηρίζει ο Κασιδιάρης – Ο commander of the Spartans και ο... λαγός Νάτσιος". Retrieved 9 June 2023.
  28. ^ ""ΣΠΑΡΤΙΑΤΕΣ": Καταδικάζουμε τις τρομοκρατικές επιθέσεις με στόχο τον άμαχο πληθυσμό του Ισραήλ". Spartiates. 7 October 2023.
  29. ^ ""Σπαρτιάτες" για Ισραήλ: Πρωτοφανής επίδειξη βαρβαρότητας από Τούρκο αν. Υπουργό". EL. 11 October 2023.
  30. ^ Σκουρής, Βασίλης. "Ποιοι είναι οι άνθρωποι του Κασιδιάρη στους "Σπαρτιάτες" – To colpo grosso του έγκλειστου στον Δομοκό". www.ieidiseis.gr.
  31. ^ "Εκπομπή ΕΛΑΣΥΝ : Β. Στίγκας – Γ. Ζωγράφος – Γ. Λουκάκος στο Extra channel" – via www.youtube.com.
  32. ^ "Σπαρτιάτες απ' τον Δομοκό". Η Εφημερίδα των Συντακτών. 13 June 2023.
  33. ^ "Στα "Νέα Σαββατοκύριακο": Δούρειος ίππος οι "Σπαρτιάτες"". ΤΑ ΝΕΑ. 17 June 2023.
  34. ^ "Η πρώτη δήλωση του προέδρου των Σπαρτιατών και το "ευχαριστώ" στον Κασιδιάρη". www.naftemporiki.gr (in Greek). 25 June 2023. Retrieved 26 June 2023.
  35. ^ "Η επόμενη μέρα στους Σπαρτιάτες μετά τα "μαχαίρια" για τα… μάτια του νεοναζί Κασιδιάρη". ΤΑ ΝΕΑ (in Greek). 28 July 2023. Retrieved 12 August 2023.
  36. ^ Μπουρδάρας, Γιώργος (12 August 2023). "Συγκλίσεις στην ακροδεξιά πολυκατοικία". Η ΚΑΘΗΜΕΡΙΝΗ (in Greek). Retrieved 12 August 2023.