Popular Orthodox Rally

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Popular Orthodox Rally
Λαϊκός Ορθόδοξος Συναγερμός
PresidentNikolaos Salavrakos
FounderGeorgios Karatzaferis
Founded14 September 2000 (2000-09-14)
Split fromNew Democracy
Headquarters52, Kallirois Avenue, 117 45 Athens
Youth wingYouth of the Orthodox Rally
IdeologyGreek nationalism[1]
Right-wing populism[2][3][4]
Religious conservatism[5]
Political positionFar-right[3][4]
Colours  Dark Blue
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European Parliament
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The Popular Orthodox Rally or People's Orthodox Alarm[7] (Greek: Λαϊκός Ορθόδοξος Συναγερμός, Laikós Orthódoxos Synagermós), often abbreviated to LAOS (ΛΑ.Ο.Σ.) as a reference to the Greek word for people, is a Greek right-wing populist political party.[2][3][4] It was founded by journalist Georgios Karatzaferis in 2000, a few months after he was expelled from the centre-right New Democracy. Today, the party is led by Nikolaos Salavrakos.

In 2004, LAOS secured support from the Party of Hellenism and the Hellenic Women's Political Party. In 2005, LAOS absorbed the nationalist[8][9] Hellenic Front.[10][third-party source needed] The youth branch of LAOS is the Youth of the Orthodox Rally (NEOS) (which is also a pun on the word for "youth" in Greek). The Popular Orthodox Rally was a member of the Europe of Freedom and Democracy (EFD) group in the European Parliament during the 7th European Parliament, and was a member of the Alliance of Independent Democrats in Europe Europarty until the AIDE's dissolution in 2008.

The party failed to reach the 3% threshold of the popular vote in the 2004 elections, with 2.2%; three months later it gained 4.12% of the vote and one seat in the 2004 European Parliamentary Elections. LAOS received 3.8% of the vote in the 2007 elections, electing 10 members of parliament. In 2009 LAOS managed to elect two representatives in the European Parliament, receiving 7.14% of the vote. After receiving 5.63% of the vote and electing 15 members of parliament in the 2009 elections, LAOS dropped below the 3% threshold in 2012 and failed to secure any seats in parliament. On 8 April 2016 LAOS joined the alliance National Unity. The party did not contest the 2019 elections or the May 2023 or June 2023 Greek legislative election.

High profile members, such as Makis Voridis, Thanos Plevris and Adonis Georgiadis, have since joined New Democracy, all three becoming ministers in the Cabinet of Kyriakos Mitsotakis, in what has been described as a "LAOSification" of the latter.[11] Prior to the 2023 Greek legislative election, the party's founder and long-time president, Georgios Karatzaferis, praised Mitsotakis, calling him "the best politician of the century".[12][13]


According to the Popular Orthodox Rally, "the demarcation of the political world into the Right wing and the Left wing is no longer relevant after the end of the Cold War. Nowadays, everyone in every aspect of his or her everyday life is either in favour or against Globalization". The party claims to consist of radically diverse groups that span the entire left-right political spectrum. Party president Karatzaferis, speaking on the 6th anniversary of the party's creation, stated "We are united in the only party that has in its ranks labourers and scientists, workers and the unemployed, leftists and rightists".[14][third-party source needed]

Karatzaferis has described the Popular Orthodox Rally as "a profoundly democratic party", consisting of everything from a "pre-dictatorship Right" to a merger of Left and Right to a "Popular Liberalism" in official party literature. He has also stated that he supports "patriotism and social solidarity, taking from all ideologies and personalities I like. I don't care if it's called communism, liberalism or socialism."[15]

However, the Popular Orthodox Rally is often characterized by opposing politicians and in the media as "far-right",[16][17][18][19][20] "populist", "radical right",[21] "right-wing"[22][23] and "nationalist". It has also been argued that its founding declaration (now withdrawn from the web) included antidemocratic, anti-parliamentary ideas, and the proposal that decisions should be taken by a council, which would include military officers and Church officials.[24] The Popular Orthodox Rally began as a party with an Orthodox Christian religious identity, but also one with a radically nationalist political identity. Although it has since allegedly tried to 'moderate' the nationalist part of its appeal, with some of an extreme-nationalist or neo-fascist bent, such as Konstantinos Plevris, then leaving the party to join Patriotic Alliance or other fringe political organizations, more extreme-nationalists have recently once again joined its ranks and been elected to parliament. Of the ten Popular Orthodox Rally candidates who entered the parliament in 2007, four are considered to be part of the "nationalist bloc": Makis Voridis, "Thanos" Plevris, Adonis Georgiadis, and Kiriakos Velopoulos.[25]

Amid the Greek government-debt crisis, the party supported the first bail-out in 2010 (the only parliamentary party apart from the governing PASOK),[26] but thereafter voted against PASOK government on crucial votes, including the 29 June 2011 vote on austerity measures. After George Papandreou resigned in November 2011, LAOS participated along with PASOK and the ND in the government of national unity (the Papademos cabinet), but resigned from the government in February 2012 due to further austerity measures[27] and amid declining popularity in polls.[28] LAOS failed to win any seats in the 2012 Greece parliamentary election, which can be attributed to its previous indecisive position.[29]


The main points of the Popular Orthodox Rally platform are as follows:[30]

Election results[edit]

Hellenic Parliament[edit]

Election Hellenic Parliament Rank Government Leader
Votes % ±pp Seats won +/−
2004 162,151 2.2% New
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Steady 0 #5 No seats Georgios Karatzaferis
2007 271,809 3.8% +1.6
10 / 300
Increase 10 #5 Opposition
2009 386,205 5.6% +1.8
15 / 300
Increase 5 #4 Government
(Cabinet of Lucas Papademos, 2011–2012)
May 2012 182,925 2.9% −2.7
0 / 300
Decrease 15 #9 No seats
June 2012 97,099 1.6% −1.3
0 / 300
Steady 0 #9 No seats
January 2015 63,669 1.0% −0.6
0 / 300
Steady 0 #11 No seats
September 2015 Did not participate No seats
2019 No seats
May 2023 No seats
June 2023 No seats

European Parliament[edit]

European Parliament
Election Votes % ±pp Seats won +/− Rank Leader
2004 252,429 4.1% New
1 / 24
Increase 1 #5 Georgios Karatzaferis
2009 366,616 7.1% +3.0
2 / 22
Increase 1 #4
2014 154,029 2.7% −4.4
0 / 21
Decrease 2 #8
2019A 69,779 1.2% −1.5
0 / 21
Steady 0 #12

A Electoral alliance with the Radical Patriotic Union [el].

Local elections[edit]

Results since 2004
(year links to election page)
Year Type of Election Votes % Mandates
2010 Local (peripheries) 4.0% 89

Affiliated media[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Lacroix, Justine; Nicolaīdis, Kalypso (2011). European Stories: Intellectual Debates on Europe in National Contexts. Oxford: Oxford University Press. p. 188. ISBN 978-0-19-959462-7.
  2. ^ a b Gemenis, Kostas (March 2008). "The 2007 Parliamentary Election in Greece" (PDF). Mediterranean Politics. Taylor and Francis. 13 (1): 95–101. doi:10.1080/13629390701862616. S2CID 154194955.
    Gemenis, Kostas; Dinas, Elias (July 2010). "Confrontation still? Examining parties' policy positions in Greece". Comparative European Politics. Palgrave Macmillan. 8 (2): 179–201. doi:10.1057/cep.2008.28. S2CID 143772280.
  3. ^ a b c Hainsworth, Paul (2008), The Extreme Right in Western Europe, Routledge, p. 66, ISBN 9780415396820
  4. ^ a b c Art, David (2011), Inside the Radical Right: The Development of Anti-Immigrant Parties in Western Europe, Cambridge University Press, p. 188, ISBN 9781139498838
  5. ^ Papadopoulos, Alex G. (8 May 2012). "The Puzzle of the 2012 Greek Elections". International Policy Digest. Archived from the original on 8 January 2016. Retrieved 2 June 2012.
  6. ^ Vasilopoulou, Sofia (2010), Euroscepticism and the radical right: domestic strategies and party system dynamics (PDF) (PhD thesis), The London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE), p. 157
  7. ^ Malkopoulou, Anthoula (2014), "Eurozone crisis and Parliamentary democracy: lessons from the Greek case", in Wiesner, Claudia (ed.), The meanings of Europe: changes and exchanges of a contested concept, Routledge, p. 161, ISBN 9781306287913.
  8. ^ Davies, Peter; Jackson, Paul (2008), The far right in Europe: an encyclopedia, Greenwood World Press, p. 416
  9. ^ Tzilivakis, Kathy (5 March 2004), Voices from the far right, Athens News, archived from the original on 1 August 2012, retrieved 1 March 2012
  10. ^ "Decision of Hellenic Front, 15 May 2005". E-grammes.gr. Archived from the original on 27 September 2011. Retrieved 10 January 2011.
  11. ^ "Ανασχηματισμός / «Φουλ» του ΛΑΟΣ στη νέα σύνθεση της κυβέρνησης Μητσοτάκη". Αυγή (in Greek). 31 August 2021. Retrieved 31 January 2023.
  12. ^ Group), Radiotileoptiki S. A. (OPEN Digital (31 January 2023). "Καρατζαφέρης: Ο Μητσοτάκης ο πιο «άρτιος πολιτικός τουλάχιστον του αιώνα - Η ισχυρότερη προσωπικότητα»". ΕΘΝΟΣ (in Greek). Retrieved 31 January 2023.
  13. ^ IEFIMERIDA.GR, NEWSROOM (31 January 2023). "Καρατζαφέρης για Μητσοτάκη: Ο πιο άρτιος πολιτικός του αιώνα -Μιντιάρχες και άλλοι θέλουν να τον «κοντύνουν» [βίντεο]". iefimerida.gr (in Greek). Retrieved 31 January 2023.
  14. ^ "Georgios Karatzaferis, "6 Years Popular Orthodox Rally", 14 September 2006". E-grammes.gr. Archived from the original on 27 September 2011. Retrieved 10 January 2011.
  15. ^ ND's nemesis is named Karatzaferis, 1 June 2007[dead link]
  16. ^ "'French-Greek axis' with the same extreme views". Ekathimerini.com. 4 January 2006. Archived from the original on 10 August 2011. Retrieved 23 April 2012.
  17. ^ Smith, Helena (Athens) (18 September 2007). "Far-right movement gathers strength as Greek election nears". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 10 January 2011.
  18. ^ "The Age quoting Los Angeles Times, Reuters". The Age. Melbourne, Australia. 18 September 2007. Retrieved 10 January 2011.
  19. ^ Carassava, Anthee (17 September 2007). "Greek governing party wins a 2nd term". The New York Times.
  20. ^ Gatopoulos, Derek (16 September 2007). "Greeks voting in general election". The Washington Post. Retrieved 10 January 2011.
  21. ^ See Gemenis (2008) as above, Gemenis and Dinas (2009) as above, Cas Mudde (2007), Populist radical right parties in Europe. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  22. ^ ""First term judged by second," 10 August 2007". Ekathimerini.com. Retrieved 10 January 2011.
  23. ^ "Wall of flame threatens to engulf birthplace of the Olympic Games". The Times. 27 August 2007. Archived from the original on 24 July 2008.
  24. ^ "The hidden 'Orthodoxy' of LAOS". Tanea.gr. 14 June 2007. Retrieved 10 January 2011.
  25. ^ "With Α Hard Group of Five on National Issues". Ethnos.gr. 18 September 2007. Archived from the original on 4 September 2012. Retrieved 10 January 2011.
  26. ^ "Profile of parties running in May 6 Greek elections". ekathimerini.com. 3 May 2012.
  27. ^ Kosmidis, Spyros (May 2013). Government constraints and economic voting in Greece (PDF). Hellenic Observatory, European Institute. GreeSE Paper No. 70.
  28. ^ GRReporter (12 February 2012). "Karadzaferis changed his mind about the memorandum, Voridis and Georgiadis are leaving". GRReporter.
  29. ^ Roushas, Roxani (January 2014). Understanding the electoral breakthrough of Golden Dawn in Greece: a demand and supply perspective (PDF). International Migration Institute. WP 83. Archived from the original (PDF) on 11 January 2016.
  30. ^ "Program Laos (Plaisio Theseon)" (PDF). pp. 1–96. Archived from the original (PDF) on 16 July 2011. Retrieved 15 January 2011.

External links[edit]