ATHENS – A former top adviser to Prime Minister Antonis Samaras, who still wants New Democracy to go after voters from the Golden Dawn extremists, says he won’t form his own party.
Panayiotis Baltakos, who was the Cabinet Secretary for Samaras’ Conservatives, was ejected after being seen on a video tape cozying up to Golden Dawn spokesman Ilias Kasidiaris and talking about the idea of the parties forming their own coalition.
Samaras’ administration includes the PASOK Socialists but he too had been accused of going soft on Golden Dawn to woo its voters until ordering prosecution of the extremists after one of its members was charged with killing an anti-fascist hip-hop artist.
An unapologetic Baltakos, a far right-winger, said he still believes New Democracy should go after voters who like Golden Dawn and extreme beliefs. Golden Dawn’s leaders are being charged with operating a criminal gang, including assaults on immigrants, and face trial in the autumn.
“I have not said that I am personally aiming to create a right-wing grouping,” Baltakos told told the newspaper Efimerida ton Syntakton, thereby denying media reports.
“I have no such desire or intention. I said something else: At the European Parliament elections, 16.5 percent of the electorate, or some 900,000 voters – including those supporting Golden Dawn – were to the right of New Democracy.
“If someone could wave a magic wand and transfer this support to New Democracy, it would have 39 percent, which would be enough to form a government on its own,” he said.