News / Europe

Greece Far Right Party Support Continues Amid Crackdown

Continued Support for Greece's Embattled Far Righti
X
October 10, 2013 2:34 PM
Greece’s far-right party Golden Dawn is again being labeled “neo-Nazi” after its leader and other senior members were arrested for alleged links to the murder of a popular leftist singer. But the party continues to draw support from more than six percent of Greeks in public opinion polls. VOA’s Al Pessin in London looks at the Golden Dawn phenomenon and the problems that are keeping it in business.
Al Pessin
Greece’s far-right Golden Dawn party is again being labeled “neo-Nazi” after its leader and other senior members were arrested for alleged links to the murder of a popular leftist singer.
 
Despite dramatic images of Golden Dawn leader Nikos Michaloliakos shouting defiantly while being led away on charges of belonging to a criminal organization, the party continues to draw support from more than six percent of Greeks in public opinion polls.

According to Spyros Economides of the London School of Economics, the continued support says a lot about the depth of Greece's economic problems.
 
“The nature of the crisis, the scope of the crisis, has meant that a large number of people from all walks of life and all ages have decided that this is the kind of organization that best represents their prospects," he said.
 
Golden Dawn wants to reject the tough conditions of Greece’s financial bailout, accusing other political parties of corruption and incompetence, and blaming immigrants for many of the country’s problems.
 
Although the party has long been accused of intimidation and violence, Dimitar Bechev of the European Council on Foreign Relations says little has been done to address the issue.
 
“Authorities overlooked earlier incidents of crimes perpetrated by either members or people connected to the organization," he said. "The level of tolerance was set very high.”
 
Until now.
 
Last month, on this street in an Athens suburb, a man who says he is a Golden Dawn supporter allegedly killed popular leftist rap performer Pavlos Fissas.
 
Party officials have denied any connection, but a police raid on Golden Dawn offices found items that appear to indicate the party was working with corrupt police officers. 
 
That created a backlash, and the party’s popularity fell sharply from a high of 13 percent to about 6.5 percent.
 
Professor Economides says frustrated Greeks who looked to Golden Dawn for help are starting to realize just who they have been supporting.
 
“Ideologically, there’s no doubt that they are a neo-Nazi party," said Economides. "Even the party leader, when he was being taken away to be imprisoned, was shouting the Greek equivalent of 'sieg heil.' If that’s not a giveaway in terms of this being a neo-Nazi party, I’m not sure what is.”
 
Opponents of Golden Dawn are making their views clear, particularly after the killing of Fissas, whose funeral drew a huge crowd of mourners. But Golden Dawn is vowing to fight on, and with Greece’s economy still in shambles, the country’s turmoil is far from over.

You May Like

Multimedia Social Media Documenting, Not Driving, Hong Kong Protests

Unlike in Arab Spring uprisings, pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong aren't relying on Twitter and Facebook to organize, but social media still plays a role More

Analysis: Occupy Central Not Exactly Hong Kong’s Tiananmen

VOA's former Hong Kong, Beijing correspondent compares and contrasts 1989 Tiananmen Square protest with what is now happening in Hong Kong More

Bambari Hospital a Lone Place of Help in Violence-Plagued CAR

Only establishment still functioning in CAR's second city is main hospital More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
The Legacy of Jimmy Carter: The Preacher from Plainsi
X
October 01, 2014 10:45 AM
It is common in the United States to see tourists flock to sites associated with America's presidents. Some are privately owned and others are run by the National Park Service or the National Archives -- but most have helped draw business and people into the towns and cities where they are located. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there is one particular presidential hometown that is unique in what it has to offer those who make the trip.
Video

Video The Legacy of Jimmy Carter: The Preacher from Plains

It is common in the United States to see tourists flock to sites associated with America's presidents. Some are privately owned and others are run by the National Park Service or the National Archives -- but most have helped draw business and people into the towns and cities where they are located. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there is one particular presidential hometown that is unique in what it has to offer those who make the trip.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests Draw New Supporters on National Holiday

On the 65th anniversary of the founding of Communist China, Hong Kong protesters are hoping to stage the largest pro-democracy demonstration since the 1989 Tiananmen protests. VOA's Brian Padden visited one of the protest sites mid-day, when the atmosphere was calm and where the supporters were enthusiastic about joining what they are calling the umbrella revolution.
Video

Video India's PM Continues First US Visit

India's prime minister is on his first visit to Washington, to strengthen political and economic ties between the world's oldest and the world biggest democracies. He came to the U.S. capital from New York, the first stop on his five-day visit to the country that denied him an entry visa in the past. From Washington, Zlatica Hoke reports Modi seemed most focused on attracting foreign investment and trade to increase job opportunities for his people.
Video

Video Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihad

Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Could US Have Done More to Stop Rise of Islamic State?

President Obama says airstrikes against Islamic State militants in Syria will likely continue for some time because, in his words, "there is a cancer that has grown for too long." So what if President Obama had acted sooner in Syria to arm more-moderate opponents of both the Islamic State and the Syrian government? VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from the United Nations.
Video

Video Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenya

Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Ebola Patients Find No Treatment at Sierra Leone Holding Center

At a holding facility in Makeni, central Sierra Leone, dozens of sick people sit on the floor in an empty university building. They wait in filthy conditions. It's a 16-hour drive by ambulance to Kailahun Ebola treatment center. Adam Bailes was there and reports on what he says are some of the worst situations he has seen since the beginning of this Ebola outbreak. And he says it appears case numbers may already be far worse than authorities acknowledge.
Video

Video Identifying Bodies Found in Texas Border Region

Thousands of immigrants have died after crossing the border from Mexico into remote areas of the southwestern United States in recent years. Local officials in south Texas alone have found hundreds of unidentified bodies and buried them in mass graves in local cemeteries. Now an anthropologist and her students at Baylor University have been exhuming bodies and looking for clues to identify them. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Waco, Texas.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid