Panagiotis Lafazanis, former Energy Minister of Greece and Syriza’s co-founder, broke away from his party together with 24 other MPs to found the new anti-bailout and hard-left Popular Unity Party (Laiki Enotita). The recent opinion polls published in Greece suggest PU would capture only 2.5-4 per cent of the vote in the snap election on September 20.
Lafazanis has a deep admiration for Russian President Vladimir Putin and has worked hard to deepen the relations between Greece and Russia in the energy sector. He dismisses the Eurozone as a “dogmatic architecture” with no future that has been “constructed for the ‘lobby’ of the North” (quotes from its recent op-ed article translated by The Greek Analyst). In the same op-ed, Lafazanis insists on the necessity of Greece’s discharge “from the shackles of servitude and dependence, and the implementation of a new, genuine, independent, and multidimensional foreign and economic policy”. Lafazanis’ enemy is not only the “Germanized Europe”, but also the U.S. and Israel which are accused of controlling Greece. Lafazanis suggests that Greece can have potential without being “an American-Atlantic plot [of sea]” or a “satellite state of the American-Israeli Middle East axis”.
Popular Unity Party faces a life or death struggle against those “neocolonial foreign centers” too and calls on the end of the military cooperation between Greece and Israel, on the grounds that Israel “occupies foreign territories in the region”. Moreover, its leader has signed up cartoonist Stathis Stavropoulos who in the past depicted Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and President George W. Bush dressed like Nazi officers with swastikas on their uniforms, both shooting pistols. He also repeatedly portrayed Israeli soldiers as Nazis.
According to the daily newspaper Ta Nea, another ally of Panagiotis Lafazanis in the run up to the snap election is the small Christian Democracy Party, which has been founded by Nikos Psaroudakis (1917-2006), one of the main publishers of the antisemitic hoax “The Protocols of Elders of Zion” in Greece.