Far-right parties have gained a total of 34 seats in the Hellenic Parliament, marking a new era in Greek politics.
Elections results in Greece have revealed the emergence of the far-right in the country as three parties gained 12.8%, or 34 out of the 300 total seats in the Hellenic Parliament.
The Spartans, a far-right led by Vasilis Stigas, gained 12 seats from a total of 240,000 votes following an endorsement from Ilias Kisidiaris, the former spokesperson of the neo-Nazi party Golden Dawn, which was banned by authorities from participating in elections and labeled a criminal organization.
Stigas thanked Kisidiaris, saying he is “the fuel that gave us the push to get this result.” Kisidiaris is currently serving 13 years in prison after being convicted of several crimes, including the murder of an anti-fascist rapper.
Furthermore, Greek Solution, another right-wing party, was able to gain 230,000 votes, which translates to 12 seats in the Hellenic parliament, while the conservative far-right Victory party won 10 seats.
“Although I was afraid of the far right’s rise, I did not expect us to be facing the most far-right parliament in recent Greek history and one of the worst in Europe,” said Aristides Chatzis, a law professor at the University of Athens.
The majority of support for these parties stems from northern Greece, which has been described as a traditional stronghold of the far-right that took upward of 20% of the total vote in six electoral districts in the Macedonia region.
Voters all share nationalist sentiments spurred by the signing of the Perspa Agreement, which led to a deal in which North Macedonia added “North” to its name to end a 25-year dispute with Athens.
However, the agreement was not accepted by a great number of extremists in Greek Macedonia who believe the accord is high treason.
“It is evident that there are significant interconnections among these parties, primarily stemming from their shared stance on the Macedonian dispute and their steadfast refusal to accept the outcome in 2018,” Georgios Samaras, Assistant Professor in Public Policy at King’s College London, was quoted saying by AFP.
“Furthermore, these parties have consistently launched relentless attacks on the lockdown policies implemented during the pandemic, alongside propagating anti-vaccine sentiments.”
These three parties have catered to extremist views and conspiracy theories in the country, producing manifestos that incite exclusionary ideas in Greece such as anti-refugee sentiments.