Monday

4th Dec 2023

Arrested neo-Nazi Greek MEP will keep salary for now

  • Greek Golden Dawn co-leader and MEP Ioannis Lagos was arrested in Belgium on Tuesday (Photo: Wikipedia)

Greek neo-Nazi lawmaker Ioannis Lagos will keep receiving his MEP salary until the Greek state terminates his mandate, despite his arrest in Belgium on Tuesday (27 April).

"It is not for the [European] Parliament to strip him of his salary," a European Parliament spokesperson told EUobserver. She noted it depends on Greek national laws.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Become an expert on Europe

Get instant access to all articles — and 20 years of archives. 14-day free trial.

... or subscribe as a group

If Greek law allows a jailed person to retain his parliamentary membership, then Lagos would keep his MEP salary.

"It will very much depend, for Lagos, on the decision for the national authorities [in Athens]," she said, noting the Greek state has to terminate his mandate. If the Greek authorities do terminate his mandate, they will then have to notify the European Parliament.

Lagos was convicted and sentenced to 13 years in prison by a Greek court last October for his role in the outlawed neo-Nazi Golden Dawn party. The court had declared it a criminal organisation. Lagos was one of its leaders.

He had been living in Belgium under the protection of his immunity ever since - all the while collecting his MEP salary and benefits.

He even once complained of not being able to pocket a €323 daily allowance due to Covid restrictions at the European Parliament.

Despite the imminent arrest hovering over him, Lagos was still allowed to vote, table amendments, and join in on public debates at the European Parliament.

In a tweet on Tuesday, Lagos announced he had been detained by the Belgian police - now paving the way for his likely extradition to Greece. News agency AFP later confirmed the arrest.

Speculation had been rife as to whether Lagos would flee, after he told the New York Times he was planning to go to another European country.

His Golden Dawn colleague Christos Pappas, also sentenced, has so far managed to evade arrest.

It is thought Pappas may be in Serbia, according to news website Vice.com.

Lagos had been pictured on Monday receiving a Covid-19 test at the European Parliament, a procedure sometimes taken before travel.

Later that same evening, MEPs in the plenary voted to lift his immunity.

The results of that vote was revealed on Tuesday morning. Some 658 voted in favour and 25 against.

Exclusive

Greek Nazi MEP upset he won't get EU parliament stipend

The EU Parliament suspended MEPs' €323 daily allowance due to the Brussels pandemic. But neo-Nazi MEP Ioannis Lagos finds that unfair and wants parliament to create "a central register in a Covid-19-free place" so he can still pocket the funds.

Investigation

EU money used by neo-Nazi to promote Holocaust denial

A prominent Holocaust-denier has made the cover of an EU-funded newsletter, which was published by an avowed German neo-Nazi with a lengthy criminal record. The lack of clear labelling of the MEP behind it violates European Parliament rules.

Greece's Golden Dawn seeks allies in EP

Golden Dawn, set to debut in the EP after Sunday's vote, has few allies among well-established far-right parties, but plenty of links with radical fringe groups across Europe.

Analysis

How Wilders' Dutch extremism goes way beyond Islamophobia

Without losing sight of his pervasive Islamophobia, it is essential to note Geert Wilders' far-right extremism extends to other issues that could drastically alter the nature of Dutch politics — and end its often constructive role in advancing EU policies.

Latest News

  1. COP28 debates climate finance amid inflated accounting ‘mess’
  2. Why EU's €18m for Israel undermines peace
  3. Israel's EU ambassador: 'No clean way to do this operation'
  4. Brussels denies having no 'concern' on Spain's amnesty law
  5. Dubai's COP28 — a view from the ground
  6. Germany moves to criminalise NGO search-and-rescue missions
  7. Israel recalls ambassador to Spain in new diplomatic spat
  8. Migrant return bill 'obstructed' as EU states mull new position

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersArtist Jessie Kleemann at Nordic pavilion during UN climate summit COP28
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersCOP28: Gathering Nordic and global experts to put food and health on the agenda
  3. Friedrich Naumann FoundationPoems of Liberty – Call for Submission “Human Rights in Inhume War”: 250€ honorary fee for selected poems
  4. World BankWorld Bank report: How to create a future where the rewards of technology benefit all levels of society?
  5. Georgia Ministry of Foreign AffairsThis autumn Europalia arts festival is all about GEORGIA!
  6. UNOPSFostering health system resilience in fragile and conflict-affected countries

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us