Takis Baltakos, the former cabinet secretary and righthand man of Prime Minister Antonis Samaras, is planning a new rightwing political force that could include “serious” figures from Golden Dawn, a Sunday newspaper has reported.
Baltakos was forced to resign in April after a video surfaced showing him engaged in what appeared to be a friendly conversation in his parliamentary office, with leading Golden Dawn MP Ilias Kasidiaris.
According to Ethnos on Sunday, Baltakos hopes to have the new party established by February at the latest. The newspaper also claims that Kasidiaris, currently in custody pending trial along with other Golden Dawn leaders on charges of running a criminal organisation, is involved in this venture.
Excluded from the party would be Golden Dawn’s leader, Nikos Michaoliakos, who, along with other Golden Dawn figures, is viewed by those planning the new entity as a liability.
Since his resignation as the most powerful official in the government, Baltakos has made no secret of his political plans. Asked in August if he will form a new party, he said that “when the time comes, everything will have been done”.
In a frank interview with To Vima in August, Baltakos, who described the Orthodox church and armed forces as “pillars of the nation”, said that it was imperative for New Democracy to swing to the right to win over the 16.5% of the electorate that lies to its extreme.
“It’s the only way. If New Democracy does not turn to the right to absorb the majority of rightwing voters, this gap will be filled. The fairytale of the left must end. It’s time to exonerate the right [of its] unjustified guilt,” he said.
He envisaged a Greek version of a Gaullist party, to be led by a military man. “He should be a strong personality, between de Gaulle and Papagos”.
In 1949, Field Marshall Alexandros Papagos led the nationalist forces to victory against communist insurgents in the Greek civil war. He was also prime minister from 1952 to 1955 as leader of the Greek Rally party, for which Konstantinos Karamanlis, who would form New Democracy in 1974, was an MP.
In his To Vima interview, Baltakos confirmed that he had met with former Greek army general staff chief Frangoulis Frangos, who is known for his strong views on national issues, but gave no details about the content of their talks.
Along with other military leaders, Frangos was retired from his position in November 2011, shortly before Prime Minister George Papandreou was forced to resign as prime minister. To Vima later linked the replacement of the country’s top military brass with a coup “that didn’t happen”.
Last month, a daily newspaper revealed that Baltakos maintained direct lines of communication with Golden Dawn, even to the point of instructing the neonazi party on how to vote in parliament and congratulating its MPs for their rowdy behaviour.
The possibility of New Democracy forming a coalition with a “a more serious” Golden Dawn was broached by Skai TV journalist Babis Papadimitriou on 11 September 2013, a day before Golden Dawn thugs assaulted Communist Party members in Perama and five days before a Golden Dawn official stabbed Pavlos Fyssas to death.