Ikaria, or Icaria, is a relatively small island in the Aegean Sea, approximately 20 km southwest of Samos. According to Greek mythology, its name derives from Icarus, son of Daedalus, who fell in the sea because he “flew too close to the sun”.
Apart from its rich history, beautiful villages, friendly people and notorious summer feasts, Ikaria is also known as Greece’s “red island”. The results of the recent parliamentary elections of May 21, 2023, came to confirm the tradition, according to which Ikaria is a stronghold of the Communist Party of Greece (KKE).
KKE’s electoral dominance in Ikaria is a tradition, with very few exceptions. The Communist Party ranked second, behind the social democrats, in the elections of 2019 and 2015, receiving 30.23% and 31.83% respectively. Back in 2012, the KKE was again the first political force with 34.05%. Similarly, in 2009 elections, the Communist Party ranked first with 31.38%.
The strong political roots of the KKE in Ikaria is highly related to the fact that, during the 1946-1949 Civil War, the island was used by the bourgeois state as an exile prison for thousands of communists, militants and sympathizers of the guerrilla Democratic Army (DSE). It is estimated that, in 1947-1948, Ikaria became the home of 15,000 political exiles, while the local population was just 11,000 people.
“Do it like Ikaria, everywhere!”, reads an article published in 902.gr, the KKE’s news portal, urging the workers, the youth and the people to strengthen the Party even more in the upcoming new elections of June 25. “The result fills us with optimism, but also with a sense of responsibility to contribute more decisively to the organization and regroupment of the workers-popular movement”, points out the Ikaria-Fournoi Party Organization of the KKE, adding that “only the people saves the people with a much stronger KKE”.