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Retired generals to fight Euro election on Golden Dawn ticket

Neonazi party to run two former lieutenant generals

Retired lieutenant generals Eleftherios Synadinos, who once commanded the army's special forces, and Georgios Epitideios, a former director at the European Union Military Staff, hope to become MEPs for Golden Dawn

Former lieutenant general Eleftherios Synadinos Former lieutenant general Eleftherios Synadinos Two retired Greek army generals have announced they will run for the neonazi Golden Dawn party in next month's European Parliament elections, in a move that raises concerns about the intrusion of ultra-right ideology in the armed forces

They are former lieutenant generals Eleftherios Synadinos, who once commanded the army's special forces, and Georgios Epitideios, a former director at the European Union Military Staff.

"Unlike the slacker politicos, TV and football figures running for the kleptocratic parties, the finest Greeks of our day are participating in Golden Dawn's national struggle," the party said on Saturday, announcing Synadinos' candidature. 

While he party has yet to finalise the names of the 42 candidates it will run in the election, on Tuesday it said that Epitideios would be joining him on the ticket. According to a biography posted on the party's website, Epitideios has served as a staff officer at the Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe (Shape), the central command of Nato military forces; Nato's International Military Staff (IMS), and as director of the department of crisis response and current operations of the European Union Military Staff (EUMS).

Undated photographs posted on Golden Dawn's website showed both men in full uniform and, in Epitideios' case, wearing medals and state orders.  

Former lieutenant general Georgios Epitideios Former lieutenant general Georgios Epitideios In a statement, Epitideios said the elections were crucial as they "will largely determine whether and how our country will continue to exist in the future as a free and sovereign state and whether Europe will continue to maintain its historical and cultural identity or will evolve into something different from what it is today".

He added: "The decisions taken at the European Parliament regard the fate of the nations of Europe and have a direct impact on our daily lives. It is therefore necessary that the voice of the Greek nationalists is represented in it to offer dynamic and decisive support for our national interests.

"Our country is facing the greatest risk to its existence since it became an independent state. The elements that make up the concept of nation and state are being attacked by enemies, using all available means.

"Sovereignty has been surrendered; religion, history, education, health, economy, justice, national defence and security, and our cultural heritage are being destroyed; the constitution and individual liberties are being flagrantly violated, the leader, MPs and officers of a legally elected political party have been arrested and are being detained illegally; the population is being impoverished financially; much of our youth has emigrated; and thousands of desperate compatriots have been driven to suicide."

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