Political parties and immigration in Greece: Between consensus and competition


The article examines the immigration policy agendas of two Greek mainstream parties, centre right New Democracy (ND) and centre left PASOK (Panhellenic Socialist Party) since 2000. Drawing on the analysis of parliamentary proceedings and key political texts, it first analyses areas of consensus and disagreement on the mainstream parties’ positions in relation to immigration control and citizenship. Second, it considers the impact of far right parties, namely, of the radical right Laikos Orthodoxos Synagermos and the extreme right Golden Dawn, on the immigration agendas and positions of the two mainstream parties in the context of the Greek austerity crisis. The article argues that despite a decline of trust, suggested by the recent electoral successes of the far right and other ‘fringe’ parties, and despite internal ideological strains, PASOK and ND did not ignore or divert attention away from the ‘immigration issue’. In contrast, they co-opted the far right agenda.

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  1. 1.

    I use the term far right to refer to both LAOS, a radical right part, and Chrysi Avgi, a neo-fascist party.

  2. 2.

    LAOS fits in the criteria of a nativist ideology, authoritarianism and populism used by Mudde (2007).


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Karamanidou, L. Political parties and immigration in Greece: Between consensus and competition. Acta Polit 50, 442–460 (2015).

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  • immigration policy
  • political parties
  • immigration discourse
  • far right
  • Greece