Popular Orthodox Rally

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Popular Orthodox Rally
President Georgios Karatzaferis
Founded 14 September 2000 (2000-09-14)
Split from New Democracy
Headquarters 52, Kallirois Avenue, 117 45 Athens
Youth wing Youth of the Orthodox Rally
Ideology Greek nationalism[1]
Right-wing populism[2][3][4]
Political position Far-right[3][4]
European affiliation Movement for a Europe of Liberties and Democracy
European Parliament group No MEPs
Colours      Dark Blue
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European Parliament
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Politics of Greece
Political parties

The Popular Orthodox Rally or "People's Orthodox Alarm"[7] (Greek: Λαϊκός Ορθόδοξος Συναγερμός, Laikós Orthódoxos Synagermós), often abbreviated to ΛΑ.Ο.Σ (LAOS) as a pun on the Greek word for people, is a Greek radical right-wing populist political party.[2][3][4] It was founded and is led by journalist Georgios Karatzaferis. Karatzaferis formed LAOS in 2000, a few months after he was expelled from the centre-right New Democracy.

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.


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".[11][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."[12]

However, the Popular Orthodox Rally is often characterized by opposing politicians and in the media as "far-right",[13][14][15][16][17] "populist", "radical right",[18] "right-wing"[19][20] 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.[21] 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.[22]

Amid the Greek government-debt crisis, the party supported the first bail-out in 2010 (the only parliamentary party apart from the governing PASOK),[23] 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[24] and amid declining popularity in polls.[25] LAOS failed to win any seats in either 2012 Greece parliamentary election, which can be attributed to its previous indecisive position.[26]


The main points of the Popular Orthodox Rally platform are as follows:[27]

Election results

Results since 2004
(year links to election page)
Year Type of Election Votes % Mandates
2004 Parliament 162,103 2.20% 0
2004 European Parliament 252,429 4.12% 1
2007 Parliament 271,764 3.80% 10
2009 European Parliament 366,615 7.15% 2
2009 Parliament 386,205 5.63% 15
(Member of the Coalition Cabinet of Lucas Papademos from 11/11/2011 to 10/02/2012)
2010 Local (peripheries) 4.0% 89
May 2012 Parliament 183,467 2.90% 0
June 2012 Parliament 97,099 1.58% 0
2014 European Parliament 154,027 2.69% 0
January 2015 Parliament 63,698 1.03% 0


  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.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. 2.0 2.1 Gemenis, Kostas (2008) "The 2007 Parliamentary Election in Greece", Mediterranean Politics 13: 95–101 and Gemenis, Kostas and Dinas, Elias (2009) "Confrontation still? Examining parties' policy positions in Greece", Comparative European Politics.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Hainsworth, Paul (2008), The Extreme Right in Western Europe, Routledge, p. 66<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Art, David (2011), Inside the Radical Right: The Development of Anti-Immigrant Parties in Western Europe, Cambridge University Press, p. 188<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. Papadopoulos, Alex G. "The Puzzle of the 2012 Greek Elections", 8 May 2012, International Policy Digest. Retrieved 2012-06-02.
  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), pp. 157–<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  7. Malkopoulou, Anthoula (2014), "Eurozone Crisis and Parliamentary Democracy: Lessons from the Greek Case", The Meanings of Europe: Changes and Exchanges of a Contested Concept, Routledge, p. 161<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  8. Davies, Peter; Jackson, Paul (2008), The far right in Europe: an encyclopedia, Greenwood World Press, p. 416.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  9. Tzilivakis, Kathy (5 March 2004), Voices from the far right, Athens News, retrieved 1 March 2012<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  10. "Decision of Hellenic Front, 15 May 2005". E-grammes.gr. Retrieved 10 January 2011.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  11. "Georgios Karatzaferis, "6 Years Popular Orthodox Rally", 14 September 2006". E-grammes.gr. Retrieved 10 January 2011.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  12. ND's nemesis is named Karatzaferis, 1 June 2007[dead link]
  13. "'French-Greek axis' with the same extreme views, 4 January 2006". Ekathimerini.com. Archived from the original on 10 August 2011. Retrieved 23 April 2012. Unknown parameter |deadurl= ignored (help)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  14. Helena Smith in Athens (13 September 2007). "18 September 2007, The". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 10 January 2011.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  15. "18 September 2007, The Age quoting Los Angeles Times, Reuters". The Age. Melbourne, Australia. 18 September 2007. Retrieved 10 January 2011.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  16. 17 September 2007, New York Times
  17. "16 September 2007, Washington Post". The Washington Post. 16 September 2007. Retrieved 10 January 2011.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  18. See Gemenis (2008) as above, Gemenis and Dinas (2009) as above, Cas Mudde (2007), Populist radical right parties in Europe. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  19. ""First term judged by second," 10 August 2007". Ekathimerini.com. Retrieved 10 January 2011.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  20. "Wall of flame threatens to engulf birthplace of the Olympic Games," 27 August 2007 Archived 24 July 2008 at the Wayback Machine
  21. ""The hidden 'Orthodoxy' of LAOS", 14 June 2007". Tanea.gr. Retrieved 10 January 2011.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  22. "With Α Hard Group of Five on National Issues, 18 September 2007". Ethnos.gr. 18 September 2007. Retrieved 10 January 2011.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  23. http://www.ekathimerini.com/4Dcgi/4dcgi/_w_articles_wsite3_1_03/05/2012_440466
  24. [1]
  25. Karadzaferis changed his mind about the memorandum, Voridis and Georgiadis are leaving
  26. http://www.imi.ox.ac.uk/pdfs/imi-working-papers/WP-83-2014.pdf
  27. "PROGRAM LAOS (PLAISIO THESEON)" (PDF). pp. 1–96. Retrieved 15 January 2011.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

See also

External links