Kammenos was one of several MPs who was expelled from New Democracy for voting, in February 2012, against the austerity measures required by the European Union before they would release a loan to keep Greece solvent. He founded Independent Greeks on February 24, 2012, in response to what he considers the loss of sovereignty and national dignity of Greece.
In the elections of May 2012, they polled 671,324 votes (10.6%) and elected 33 MPs. In the repeat elections of June, they polled 462,406 votes (7.5%) and elected 20 MPs.
The slogan of Independent Greeks is: "We're many, we're independent, we're Greeks".