Failos Kranidiotis, a lawyer who is considered among Prime Minister Antonis Samaras’s closest aides, announced on Monday that he would not standing as a New Democracy candidate for European Parliament in May’s elections.
Kranidiotis was elected to the conservative’s political committee last summer but has critics within New Democracy and among opposition parties because of his strong nationalist views and hardline opinions on issues such as immigration.
“The agenda that our ideological opponents are trying to impose is to identify every national voice with fascism, racism, the far-right and to make our party feel guilty about issues that have nothing to do with us,” he said.
Kraniditios’s candidacy had been under scrutiny over the past few days after another of the premier’s aides, Panayiotis Baltakos, was forced to resign as cabinet secretary after he was secretly filmed meeting Golden Dawn spokesman Ilias Kasidiaris.
Coalition partner PASOK is thought to have raised questions about whether Kranidiotis should stand. It is believed that some New Democracy MPs also objected to his candidacy.