Architect stands for election in protest over Balkan war
A north London architect was so incensed by the war in Kosovo that he stood for election to the European parliament on the platform 'Human Rights, Peace in Europe'.
George Hajifanis, who has his own practice in Kentish Town, decided to stand six weeks ago after concluding that 'the bombing proved the dishonest policy of double standards by government and opposition'.
Hajifanis said: 'Being an architect, one is naturally a builder - I haven't much interest in demolition firms. As nato has proved itself the most effective demolition firm in Europe, and is ignoring the United Nations, I thought it was time somebody stood up.'
Born in Cyprus, he has lived in this country since the age of 13, and worked for yrm, for Architects Co-Partnership and for the London Borough of Camden before setting up his own practice. He has designed schools in Tunisia, the first spinning mill in Malta and, more recently, saveloy and sausage factories in Birmingham and Bucharest, as well as private commissions.
Now that the war is seemingly over, he is equally worried about the peace and particularly about the environmental damage done. 'It will probably take the Danube 20 years to recover,' he said. 'This is an extremely serious state of affairs. About 10 million people border the Danube and it is their sole water supply.'
Standing to be an mep was Hajifanis' first formal political involvement, although he has worked closely with Pauline Green, who was leader of the socialist group in Europe. Will he stand again? 'I will cross that bridge when I come to it,' he said.