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Who is Fidias Panayiotou, the YouTuber who won the European Championships (thanks to the followers)

Among the various characters who emerged from the European elections, there is also him: Fidias Panayioyou, the most famous YouTuber in all of Cyprus, a kind of Mediterranean Mr Beast. Who is MrBeast? The most followed YouTuber in the world, with 269 million subscribers to its channel, which a few weeks ago displaced the Indian TV series channel T-Series. Of course, Fidias has «only» 2.6 million (which are still double the inhabitants of Cyprus, which only has 6 seats in the European Parliament). But today he can count on his voters, who sent him to the European Parliament with 19.4 percent or 71,330 votes. With him they will go to Strasbourg and Brussels: Loukas Fourlas and Michalis Hadjipantela (Disy), Giorgos Georgiou (Akel), Geadis Geadi (Elam) and Costas Mavrides (Diko).

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But who is Fidias Panayiotou, known only as Fidias on YouTube? Like Mr.Beast, the twenty-four-year-old Cypriot has built his popularity since 2019 by filming himself carrying out seemingly impossible missions, such as «spend 100 million dollars in the cheapest country in the world» but also «I lived seven days with the Shaolin warriors», making charity in favor of disadvantaged countries, or breaking bizarre records, such as standing for 90 hours without sitting down or surviving 7 days buried alive. One of these lasts twenty minutes and the mission is to hug the 100 top celebrities in the world, including Elon Musk, which he achieved a year ago. And the video began with the hug to Mr.Beast obviously, which he quotes and which he is obviously inspired by. For now there are almost 400 of these clips on his channel, and his motto is: «using YouTube to spread love». The creator also has Instagram and TikTok profiles and even a podcast.

Running out of nowhere last January, completely independent, and never gone to vote before, as he himself declared, his almost 20% is the surprise of these elections. The question remains whether this is a good idea. In fact, nothing is known about his political ideas. When questioned about his electoral programme, Fidias always deflected the questions, continuing to repeat like a mantra that his aim was civic: wanting to contribute to bringing young people closer to politics and institutions. «I didn’t think I had much of a chance when I applied“, he said. «But to those who asked me then why I did it, I always replied that if you think something is right, you have to do it even if all the odds are against you».

Now will he really go to Europe? For now he has announced that he wants to have a big party, asking his followers to secure the place. It is not clear whether the candidacy is a challenge like those of her videos, «getting elected to the European parliament by doing everything alone», a sociological experiment to test the loyalty of followers in the electoral context, or a simple marketing operation to increase the its base and reputation. Looking at the comments on social media after the victory, many thanked him and invited him to continue: Fidias is identified as an anti-system and anti-corruption candidate. He himself warns other party leaders: “remember that you are in power to serve the people.”

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During the night, to comment on the results, he said: «It’s a miracle, it’s the first time in the European elections that someone has managed to enter Parliament without the support of the parties, but only with the help of followers on the Internet». And he went further: “It means that the world has reached a point where a new chapter of democracy begins.” Indeed: «a new type of democracy, more direct, which gives more power to the people». A bit of a televote, in short, but also a populist recipe.

Source: Vanity Fair

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