Piraeus election rivals argue over Golden Dawn influence

Vangelis Marinakis, chairman of Olympiakos soccer club and a candidate for the Piraeus municipal council has rejected accusations of courting Golden Dawn's support ahead of the second round of local elections on Sunday.

Marinakis is running on a ticket headed by Yiannis Moralis, an Olympiakos official who is standing as an independent candidate for Piraeus mayor. He won the first round of voting on Sunday and will face off against incumbent Vassilis Michaloliakos at the end of this week.

“I condemn Golden Dawn's criminal activity,” Marinakis said in an interview with Mega TV, adding that Moralis was seeking to draw voters from across party lines.

New Democracy-backed candidate Michaloliakos has accused the political newcomers of cutting a secret deal with Golden Dawn to have far right voters back Moralis instead of ultranationalist candidate Nikos Kouzilos.

“How can [Golden Dawn] garner 16 percent of the vote in Athens and only 5 percent in Pireaus?” Michaloliakos told Skai TV on Tuesday. He also accused Moralis of seeking to import Berlusconi-style politics into Piraeus.

Speaking to Mega, Marinakis denied any similarities to the former Italian prime minister. “For me Greece is Olympiakos. [Olympiakos] is my love, I put money in this team,” he said.

Marinakis also denied accusations that Moralis supporters were involved in acts of intimidation against Michaloliakos voters during the first round of local elections on Sunday.

Several voters complained that men who looked like nightclub bouncers were present at various polling stations.