Ex-minister strengthens anti-bailout camp with new party

A new right-wing party unveiled on Thursday will be anti-memorandum but pro-Europe, pledged ex-Public Order Minister Vyron Polydoras, who will head the grouping, called Union for the Homeland and the People.

Flanked by another former New Democracy member, Christos Zois, Polydoras said the party would push for a significant restructuring of Greek public debt but would not become embroiled in a debate about whether Greece should remain in the euro.

“For us there is no issue of whether we should be in the European Union or out, nor of the euro or the drachma,” he said. “There is only one criterion: the salvation of the people.”

Polydoras, who was ousted from New Democracy in December for voting against the lifting of a ban of some home foreclosures, criticized his former party and its leader, Prime Minister Antonis Samaras, for failing to live up to a promise to raise the issue of debt restructuring with Greece’s eurozone partners.

The right-wing politician suggested that Greece could appeal to the international courts to get some of its debt written off. He also cited the example of the 1953 London Debt Agreement, when West Germany was given debt relief by its creditors.

He was adamant that the party condemns violence and has no regard for Golden Dawn but he left open the possibility of cooperation with Independent Greeks, another anti-austerity right-wing party.

“There is an invitation for all Greeks,” said Zois. “We have never hidden our political origins, though.”