YouTube prankster Fidias elected to EU Parliament despite knowing nothing about politics

Virginia Glaze

Cyprus-based YouTuber Fidias Panayiotou has been elected as an independent MEP in the European Parliament — and he has a strong message for his fellow politicians.

Fidias Panayiotou has become an infamous presence on the internet thanks to his controversial pranks, but now he’s focusing on a venture of a totally different kind: politics.

The 24-year-old influencer is now an independent member of the European Parliament as of June 2024, despite claiming that he’s never voted and even admitting that he has little knowledge of politics whatsoever.

Infamous YouTube prankster ‘Fidias’ has been elected as an independent member of the European Parliament.

Instead, Panayioutou wants to stick it to the “nerds” running things in Brussels and aims to help young people get involved in governmental affairs.

“The parties should take it as a warning that they must modernize and listen to the people,” he said in a statement to CyBC. “We are writing history. Not just in Cyprus, but internationally.”

The YouTuber submitted himself for candidacy in April, taking 40% of votes from people aged 18-24 and 28% of votes from those aged 25-34, as per the BBC.

In an unexpected turn of events, voter turnout in Cyprus rose 45% from last year — something analysts are dubbing the “Fidias factor.”

Panayiotou has become an infamous name on the internet due to his divisive pranks, one of which took social media by storm in late 2023. In this particular ‘prank,’ the YouTuber fled from Japanese authorities after dodging train and bus fares in a bid to cross the entire country “for free.”

In 2022, he also faced backlash over a thumbnail for one of his YouTube videos, which was dubbed “insensitive” for featuring “poor” children from Burundi while he pulled an exaggerated facial expression.

Panayioutou isn’t the first YouTuber to put his name in the hat for political office. In 2022, YouTube star turned WWE heel Logan Paul confirmed that he hopes to run for US President one day.

“I think I could do some seriously good sh*t that is so necessary, and in my head feels inevitable, but someone has to do it,” the influencer said.

He doubled down on his plans in 2023, saying he even wants to assign his little brother, Jake Paul, as his Secretary of Defense.

Also in June 2024, YouTuber Niko Omliana revealed that he’s running against UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak in what fans say has the “potential to be the funniest election of all time.”

It’s unclear what Cyrpus citizens can expect now that Panayiotou is in the European Parliament, but one thing can’t be denied — influencers are making a splash in politics and mobilizing their audiences to get involved.