Independent Greeks

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Independent Greeks
Ανεξάρτητοι Έλληνες
Abbreviation ANEL
President Panos Kammenos
General Secretary Euthimios Drosos
Spokesperson Theodoros Tosounidis
Founded 24 February 2012; 6 years ago (2012-02-24)
Split from New Democracy[1]
Headquarters 196, Syngrou Ave.
176 71 Athens
Ideology Greek nationalism[2]
National conservatism[4]
Social conservatism[4][5]
Right-wing populism[6][7]
Political position Right-wing[9][10]
Religion Greek Orthodox
European affiliation None
International affiliation None
European Parliament group No MEPs
Colours          Blue, red
Slogan We are many—
We are independent—
We are Greeks
7 / 300
European Parliament[11]
0 / 21
Regions [12]
51 / 703

The Independent Greeks (Greek: Ανεξάρτητοι Έλληνες (ΑΝΕΛ), Anexartitoi Ellines, ANEL) is a conservative,[3] national-conservative,[4] and right-wing populist[6][7] political party in Greece. The party won 10 seats in the September 2015 parliamentary election and agreed to renew its coalition government with the Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA).[13]


The party was created on 24 February 2012 by Panos Kammenos, a former Member of Parliament (MP) for the conservative party New Democracy (ND).[14] 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.[15] 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)[16]

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

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 gained 10.6% of the vote and 33 MPs in the parliamentary election in May 2012.[18] In the snap June 2012 legislative election, ANEL received 7.5% of the vote, which reduced the party's representation to 20 MPs.[18]

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.[19] On 26 January 2015, ANEL agreed to form a governing coalition with the Coalition of the Radical Left.[20][21]

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.[22] Syriza again agreed to form a coalition government with ANEL.[23]


Economically, the party calls for revoking the first and second memorandums, loan agreements between Greece, the EU and the International Monetary Fund.[6][7][14] 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][14]

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."[24] 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."[25]

The party's official program 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.[25] 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."[26]

The party also calls for German war reparations (for the invasion and occupation of Greece in the Second World War).[15]

On social policy, Independent Greeks oppose multiculturalism and want to reduce immigration,[27][28] and support development of a Christian Orthodox oriented education system.[29]

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".[30]

Election results[edit]

Hellenic Parliament[edit]

Election Hellenic Parliament Rank Government Leader
Votes % ±pp Seats won +/−
05/2012 670,957 10.6% New
33 / 300
Increase33 #4 Opposition Panos Kammenos
06/2012 462,406 7.5% Decrease3.1
20 / 300
Decrease13 #4 Opposition Panos Kammenos
01/2015 293,683 4.8% Decrease2.7
13 / 300
Decrease7 #6 Coalition gov't
Panos Kammenos
09/2015 200,423 3.7% Decrease1.1
10 / 300
Decrease3 #7 Coalition gov't
Panos Kammenos

European Parliament[edit]

European Parliament
Election Votes % ±pp Seats won +/− Rank Leader
2014 197,701 3.5% New
1 / 21
Increase1 #7 Panos Kammenos

Members of Parliament[edit]

As of 27 June 2018 the Independent Greeks have seven MPs in the Hellenic Parliament:

Name Constituency
Panagiotis (Panos) Kammenos Athens B
Kostas Katsikis Attica
Vassilios Kokkalis (fr) Larissa
Maria Kollia-Tsaroucha Serres
Elena Kountoura Athens A
Athanasios Papachristopoulos (fr) Athens B
Konstantinos Zouraris Thessaloniki A

On 19 November 2015 Nikolaos Nikolopoulos had been expelled from the Parliamentary Group of Independent Greeks.[31]

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.[32]


  1. ^ "Kammenos attracts another New Democracy breakaway", Athens News, 20 March 2012, archived from the original on 2 April 2012 
  2. ^ 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 (2015). "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. ^ Mannin, Michael (2013). Evaluating the Europeanization Effect. The Europeanization of European Politics. Palgrave Macmillan. p. 210. 
  9. ^ Squires, Nick. "Greek election: who are Independent Greeks?". The Daily Telegraph. London. 
  10. ^ Chu, Ben. "Greece elections: Who are Syriza and what effect will their new government have on Europe?". The Independent. London. 
  11. ^ European Parliament: Greek MEPs
  12. ^ The counselors of the Regions.
  13. ^ Helena Smith. "Alexis Tsipras takes oath of office after victory in Greece general election". The Guardian. London. 
  14. ^ a b c "Ousted New Democracy MP starts own party", Ekathimerini, 24 February 2012 
  15. ^ a b "Kammenos introduces Independent Greeks", Athens News, 11 March 2012, archived from the original on 14 March 2012 
  16. ^ "Ten former ND MPs move with Kammenos", Capital, 14 March 2012 
  17. ^ " - Profile of parties running in May 6 Greek elections". 
  18. ^ 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. 
  19. ^ Archived from the original on 26 January 2015. Retrieved 26 January 2015.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  20. ^ "Greece anti-bailout leader Tsipras made prime minister". BBC News. 
  21. ^ "Syriza and Independent Greeks agree Greece coalition", BBC News, 25 January 2015 
  22. ^ Anastasios Papapostolou. "Greek Elections: Official Final Results". 
  23. ^ "SYRIZA chief confirms plan to form government with Independent Greeks". 
  24. ^ "Greek election: who are Independent Greeks?". The Daily Telegraph. London. 26 January 2015. 
  25. ^ a b "Greek conservative rebel battles German "domination"", National Post, 23 April 2012 
  26. ^ Independent Greeks respond to the scenarios for the collapse of the party with a founding congress
  29. ^ "Η παρουσίαση του κόμματος ΑΝΕΞΑΡΤΗΤΟΙ ΕΛΛΗΝΕΣ από τον Πάνο Καμμένο στο Δίστομο στις" (PDF). 11 March 2012. Retrieved 18 March 2015. 
  30. ^ 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. 
  31. ^ Terms of office of Nikolaos Nikolopoulos in the Hellenic Parliament. Retrieved 23 April 2016.
  32. ^ Οnline, Τα Νέα. "Independent Greeks MP resigns party after grass roots pressure on FYROM". Τα Νέα Οnline (in Greek). Retrieved 2018-06-27. 

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