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YouTube Prankster Fidias Panayiotou Gets Elected to EU Parliament, But How?


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Fidias Panayiotou, a Cyprus-based YouTube prankster, has been elected as an independent Member of the European Parliament (MEP) in a surprising turn of events. Known for his controversial pranks, the 24-year-old influencer has admitted to having little knowledge of politics and never having voted.

Panayiotou’s election marks a significant shift as he seeks to challenge the established political order in Brussels. “The parties should take it as a warning that they must modernize and listen to the people,” he told CyBC. “We are writing history. Not just in Cyprus, but internationally.”

Despite his lack of political experience, Panayiotou’s candidacy resonated with younger voters. He garnered 40% of votes from people aged 18-24 and 28% from those aged 25-34, according to the BBC. His candidacy also contributed to a 45% increase in voter turnout in Cyprus, a phenomenon analysts are calling the “Fidias factor.”

Panayiotou’s internet fame stems from a series of divisive pranks. In late 2023, he gained widespread attention after fleeing from Japanese authorities for dodging train and bus fares in an attempt to travel across the country for free. In 2022, he faced backlash over a YouTube video thumbnail that many criticized as insensitive, featuring “poor” children from Burundi while he made an exaggerated facial expression.

Panayiotou’s entry into politics follows a growing trend of internet personalities seeking political office. In 2022, YouTuber and WWE star Logan Paul announced his ambition to run for US President. Paul reiterated his plans in 2023, stating he would appoint his brother, Jake Paul, as his Secretary of Defense if elected.

Panayiotou’s election highlights a broader movement among young people demanding change and greater representation in government. By leveraging his online influence, Panayiotou aims to bring fresh perspectives and modernize the political landscape, signaling a new era of engagement for younger generations.

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