The party’s support eroded as the criminal case against it unfolded, and in the July 2019 election it lost all of its seats in the Greek Parliament. But shortly before that contest, Mr. Lagos ran successfully for the European Parliament, and then started his own party along the same extremist lines as Golden Dawn.
Of the seven leading Golden Dawn figures who were sentenced to 13 years, five are in prison and one, Christos Pappas, is on the run. And then there is Mr. Lagos, who remains comfortably resident in Brussels, the seat of the European Parliament and informal capital in the European Union, still collecting more than 13,000 euros a month, about $16,000, in salary and expenses.
In early November, he complained about losing his stipends when the parliament was forced to suspend its sessions because of coronavirus restrictions. “It is unfair for us to have be deprived of the perdiems we are entitled to,” he said in an email to the Parliament’s leadership.
Mr. Lagos is several months away, at least, from being arrested and extradited to Greece to serve his sentence. On Twitter, he is crowdfunding for his legal fees and claiming that he’s the victim of a political crackdown by the Greek establishment that seeks to silence true patriots.
“He is in the core of the leading group of Golden Dawn, he’s one of the top five, not some kind of rank and file member,” said Lefteris Papagiannakis, a legal expert who was a member of the Golden Dawn Watch initiative, a civil society organization that meticulously covered the landmark trial and other issues pertaining to the group.
“Lagos is the muscle, the brute force,” he added. “He is the ultimate expresser of the violent nature of Golden Dawn.”