According to Greek resources, a deputy of the Russian State Council of Crimea Ivan Shonuswho calls himself the leader of the Crimean Society of Ethnic Greeks, and is appointed by Moscow as the Deputy Prime Minister and representative of Crimea to the President of Russia Georgy Muradov welcomed and supported the creation of the new political party “Democratic Movement of National Liberation” (DIKEA) in Greece. The party announced its participation in the country’s parliamentary elections in April this year. Among the goals declared by the party are rapprochement with Russia, Greece’s exit from the European Union and NATO, rejection of the euro and return to the national currency.
What is DIKEA, why and by whom is its support from Crimea and Russia organized, as well as whether the actions of the Kremlin’s influence in Hellas will be able to change the political situation in Greece and in Europe in general – in the material Crimea. Realii.
The left of Greece “plays” with the letter “Z”
July 19, 2022 on the site with the symbolic name Iskra the former minister of industrial reconstruction, environmental protection and energy of Greece (January-July 2015) in the government of the left party SYRIZA and the chairman (until June 2019) of the party “People’s Unity – Unruly Left” (“L.A.E. – AA”) Panagiotis Lafazanis the poster of the “Democratic Movement of National Liberation” appeared for the first time. On the poster was placed the inscription “Russia is right!” and the Latin letter “Z”. This news was widely broadcast and discussed by mass media and social networks in Russia and Greece.
In the Greek society, which is preparing for the parliamentary elections, the new pro-Russian ideas of Panagiotis Lafazanis were not rejected, and there was no reaction of the authorities to the slogans put forward by him.
Using the letters “Z” and “V” to indicate support for the Russian invasion of Ukraine may be a criminal offense in Germany, and in Latvia, Estonia, Lithuania, Poland, Moldova and Ukraine – prohibited by law. In a number of countries in Europe and Asia, the authorities have initiated an investigation into the facts of the public demonstration of these symbols.
The party system in Greece: Lafazanis accuses of total corruption
“The parties that are in the top three according to polls in Greece (ND – the ruling Neodemocracy, SYRIZA, PASOK-KINAL Coalition) have no ideological affinity. ND is a right-wing conservative party, SYRIZA is a left-wing radical party, and PASOK is a social-democratic party. PASOK, which is part of the opposition wing, previously considered SYRIZA as its rival, not ND. However, recently this attitude seems to have changed,” – wrote in September 2022 for of the Ankara Center for the Study of Crisis Situations and Politics Turkish columnist Sevench Balji.
In December 2022, the vice president of the European Parliament, a Greek politician from PASOK was arrested in Belgium Eva Kylie. She is accused of corruption, membership in a criminal organization and money laundering – a significant amount of money was found in her possession, which was kept in cash, including in her father’s suitcase. PASOK expelled Eva Kylie from its ranks.
According to Panagiotis Lafazanisthe case in the European Parliament is indicative, and “bags” of money in Kyle are the norm in the political system of Greece, and not some rare exception.”
Elections will be held in Greece: Lafazanis changes the poster
“The elections will be held in the spring, in fact, at the moment when we will practically run out of our four-year term,” – the Prime Minister of Greece said in January Kyriakos Mitsotakis. The Greek government is given a four-year mandate, with the current mandate expiring on July 7.
Already on January 18, Panagiotis Lafazanis against the background of the new poster of his movement – now in the colors of the Russian flag – announces the holding the founding meeting of DIKEA, which is scheduled for January 29. And on January 24, another poster appears another announcement on the same date: about holding a joint constituent meeting of two political movements in one of the central hotels of Athens: DIKEA and “All-Hellenic Movement of Greek-Russian Friendship” led by Ioannis Kotsailidis – an old friend of the Crimean people “people’s diplomats” from “Russian World”.
As can be seen from the photo reporta few meetings were held, and a new party – DIKEA – was founded in the capital of Greece by the two founders.
“All levels of Russian propaganda are visible in Greece, Lafazanis is one of them”
Greek journalist Kostas Onisenko in the comments for Crimea. Realii pointed to a wide range of national political forces in Greece ready to accept the narratives of multifaceted Russian propaganda. Collectively, such forces solve a number of tasks: work in parliament, as well as the role of centers of gravity of radical forces for street activism and pressure on the government and society.
“Except for the ruling Neodemocracy party, the rest of the parties represented in the Greek parliament are either openly or latently pro-Russian. Lafazanis’ party, according to opinion polls, does not overcome the 3% barrier to obtain seats in the parliament. No one supports Russia if they do not receive concrete dividends for it. This person is quite rich and belongs to the natives of the first two years of SYRIZA’s rule. In Russia, the “Greek case” is very interesting.
All the Russian propaganda that works in Europe and is visible now has worked in Greece for at least 5-10 years and had a stronger effect. If you observe systematically, you can see all levels of Russian propaganda in Greece. Ranging from extreme leftists who oppose the “Banderians” and leftists who say they “oppose NATO – the source of war” to liberal movements who rely on “self-interest with Russia against Turkey”. In Moscow, tools and arguments are prepared for each audience: for certain categories of people, for use simultaneously throughout the world and exclusively for the Greek public. Lafazanis is one of the gradations. He manages to make an impression because he openly displays the symbol “Z”, but, in my opinion, this is not the biggest risk for him to receive electoral support,” the expert said.
Among those who will vote for the new party, there will be a certain number of returnees and immigrants
Professor of the Department of International Relations of the National Aviation University (Kyiv), international political scientist Maxim Yali told the Krym.Realii journalist that the processes that are taking place are quite natural, taking into account Russia’s investment of significant funds in propaganda and betting in Greece on immigrants from the former USSR, especially from Transcaucasia, where there were large Greek settlements.
“All these actions will not have any impact on Greece. In principle, no one will learn about them from Russian-language Internet resources and from migrants, except for narrow groups of people. Conventionally speaking, those who will vote for the new party will include a certain number of repatriates and immigrants. But similar, few, unrecognized quasi-representatives of the Greek public will in no way be able to influence the results of the elections,” Maksym Yali is confident.
“Greece is the mother of democracy, and almost half of Greeks support Ukraine”
“If the Eurobarometer is to be believed, Greece, together with Bulgaria, is in the last places in terms of the level of support for Ukraine. 48% of the Greek population supports Ukraine in this war. Less than half of Greeks, but this is a lot, compared to what happened a year ago, when most Greeks did not really delve into this topic, knowing or hearing superficial information – 80% Russian propaganda. Greece is the mother of democracy and the by-product “freedom of speech”. In Greece, it is very difficult to ban something from the point of view of expressions. This also applies to Lafazanis’ use of certain symbols. If he finds a way to spend a lot of money on the pre-election race, he may enter the parliament: everything rests on money and relations with the local media. In Greece, there are 5-6 people who own these mass media, as well as tanker ships that transport Russian oil from Novorossiysk to Greek ports,” Kostas Onisenko said.
According to the findings editorial monitoring group BlackSeaNews and Institute of Black Sea Strategic Studies (Kyiv), “among the “EU+” countries in January 2023, Greece traditionally remained the largest importer of Russian petroleum products (as well as Russian crude oil).
I will say that what can grow from Russian propaganda and give results is an economic argument
“Moscow is trying to enter Greece with various issues: Greek-Turkish contradictions, the Greek minority, Crimea, World War II, the Immortal Regiment, church affairs. The main pro-Russian forces are in the north of Greece: from the city of Thessaloniki to the city of Alexandroupolis. I will say that what can grow out of Russian propaganda and give results is an economic argument. And for this, Russia will fight not only in Greece, but also throughout Europe, especially in its south – the Balkans. All other topics are secondary,” Kostas Onisenko summarized.
Pontic and Crimean Greeks came under the influence of Ivan Savvidi
Kostas Onisenko expressed the opinion that since the end of the 2000s in the life of the Pontic and Crimean Greeks, a special role began to be played Ivan Savvidi – a native of Georgia of Greek origin. He is a former member of the State Duma, coordinator of its interparliamentary parliamentary group in relations with the Parliament of Greece, president of the Association of Greek Public Associations of Russia, coordinator of the Council of Greeks Abroad and owner of the Greek football club ΠΑΟΚ (Thessaloniki).
In December 2022 the Greek press confirmed the “privileged and close personal relationship” of Eva Kylie, the vice-president of the European Parliament, arrested for corruption, with the “Russian-Greek tycoon” Ivan Savvidi.
According to statistics, there are 2,500-3,000 Greeks left in Crimea, and there is, of course, this odious Olga Kovitidi
“He began to invest heavily in all societies of Pontic repatriates in the territories of the former USSR. Then – in Greece. He also had a personal interest, which later turned into a “political” one. In 2016, it was he who told Putin how to “involve the global Greek diaspora in promoting Russian interests abroad.” According to statistics, there are 2,500-3,000 Greeks left in Crimea, and there is, of course, this odious Olga Kovitidiwho is a Russian senator from Crimea, but most of the Greek associations are in the Azov region,” said the Greek interlocutor of Krym.Realii.
Maxim Yali emphasized that Russia uses ethnic Greeks in a broad sense and not only in Crimea, but Ukrainian-Greek efforts are already changing the situation.
“It should be noted that the destruction and actual erasure of the city of Mariupol in the spring of 2022, the destruction of many Greek villages played a significant role in changing Greece’s position on the Russian-Ukrainian war. The behavior of the official consul of Greece, who was in Mariupol and left only at the end of March last year, his interview and the work of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine in the complex also played an important role. Concrete results are visible – Greece provides military aid to Ukraine. And, compared to previous decades, these are significant changes,” he clarified.
President of Greece Kateryna Sakellaropoulou visited Ukraine with an official visit on November 3, 2022.
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