Yiannis Banias addresses a Syriza rally, January 2012 (Eurokinissi)
Originally Published at Athens News 29/3/12
The veteran leftwing leader Yiannis Banias died early on Thursday after battling a severe illness for several weeks.
Banias, who was born in 1939 in in Melissourgoi, near Arta, was active in the left since the 1960s and was interned during the junta on the island of Leros.
He later joined the Communist Party of Greece–Interior (KKE Interior), which advocated an independent line from Moscow, serving as the party’s secretary general from 1982 to 1988.
After a disagreement with Leonidas Kyrkos and the break-up of the KKE Interior, Banias founded a party that would later become the Renewing Communist Ecological Left (AKOA), which is a component of the Radical Left Coalition (Syriza).
He was elected to parliament for the first time in September 2007, on Syriza’s state-wide ticket, and held the seat until 2009. (Athens News, AMNA)