News / Europe

Greek Far Right Makes Gains, Demands Landmines on Borders

Extreme far-right Golden Dawn party's supporters celebrate and has vowed to kick out immigrants and mine Greece's borders with TurkeyExtreme far-right Golden Dawn party's supporters celebrate and has vowed to kick out immigrants and mine Greece's borders with Turkey
x
Extreme far-right Golden Dawn party's supporters celebrate and has vowed to kick out immigrants and mine Greece's borders with Turkey
Extreme far-right Golden Dawn party's supporters celebrate and has vowed to kick out immigrants and mine Greece's borders with Turkey
Henry Ridgwell
LONDON - Greece's far-right, Golden Dawn, party is entering the Greek parliament for the first time, demanding that all immigrants be "sent home" and wanting land mines planted along the Turkish border. The result has caused alarm, as fears grow that the economic crisis is benefiting extremist politicians.

Greece belongs to Greeks

Supporters chant 'Greece belongs to Greeks,' as Golden Dawn leader Nikolaos Michaloliakos marches triumphantly through the streets of Athens.

A reporter following the crowd asks what policy the party would implement first.

"All the illegal immigration out. Out of my country, out of my home," said Michaloliakos.

Golden Dawn won 7 percent of the vote and 21 parliamentary seats in Sunday's election.  

But Thanasis Kourkoulas of the campaign group 'Expel Racism' is calling for the party to be banned. "It is the first time that a neo-Nazi group enters Greek parliament since 1974 when the [military] junta finished here," he stated.

Along with its economic meltdown, Greece is facing what the United Nations calls a humanitarian refugee crisis. Many right-wing supporters link the two.


Backlog in processing, descrimination

Every Saturday, from dawn, crowds of asylum-seekers gather at the migrant processing center in Athens. The backlog in applications numbers in the tens of thousands.

Last year, VOA met Afghan asylum-seeker Hafeez, who like many immigrants, had been targeted by a right-wing mob in Athens.

He says they did not say anything; they just started to beat him all over his body.

Planting landmines to control border

The Golden Dawn party is calling for landmines to be planted along the Turkish border, where most migrants enter Greece. In Athens, its campaign posters spoke of "cleaning up the city" and "removing the dirt."

For the city's Jewish community, the party's language and Nazi-like uniforms mark a dangerous development. Benjamin Albalas is a Jewish community leader. "We are also really very concerned that the neo-Nazi far-right party was, will be, a member of the Greek parliament in Athens, where democracy was born," he said.

Greek analyst Michael Arghyrou of Cardiff University says Golden Dawn's success may have its roots in the economic policies of the previous government. "People mainly from the right wing of the mainstream conservative party wanted to register a protest vote, so it is a protest vote, but it is also true that the immigration question in Greece has taken explosive proportions," Arghyrou stated.

Golden Dawn denies it is a neo-Nazi party and accuses Greek and foreign media of distorting its nationalist agenda.

You May Like

Turbulent Transition Imperils Tunisia’s Arab Spring Gains

Critics say new anti-terrorism laws worsen Tunisia's situation while others put faith in country’s vibrant civil organizations, women’s movement More

Burundi’s Political Crisis May Become Humanitarian One

United Nations aid agencies issue warning as deadly violence sends tens of thousands fleeing More

Yemenis Adjust to Life Under Houthi Rule

Locals want warring parties to strike deal to stop bloodletting before deciding how country is governed More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Texas Town Residents Told to 'Just Leave' Ahead of Flood Threati
X
Greg Flakus
May 29, 2015 11:24 PM
Water from heavy rain in eastern and central Texas is now swelling rivers that flow into the Gulf of Mexico, threatening towns along their banks. VOA’s Greg Flakus visited the town of Wharton, southwest of Houston, where the Colorado River is close to cresting.
Video

Video Texas Town Residents Told to 'Just Leave' Ahead of Flood Threat

Water from heavy rain in eastern and central Texas is now swelling rivers that flow into the Gulf of Mexico, threatening towns along their banks. VOA’s Greg Flakus visited the town of Wharton, southwest of Houston, where the Colorado River is close to cresting.
Video

Video New York's One World Trade Center Observatory Opens to Public

From New Jersey to Long Island, from Northern suburbs to the Atlantic Ocean, with all of New York City in-between.  That view became available to the public Friday as the One World Trade Center Observatory opened in New York -- atop the replacement for the buildings destroyed in the September 11, 2001, attacks.  VOA’s Bernard Shusman reports.
Video

Video Seoul Sponsors Korean Unification Fair

With inter-Korean relations deteriorating over the North’s nuclear program, past military provocations and human rights abuses, many Koreans still hold out hope for eventual peaceful re-unification. VOA’s Brian Padden visited a “unification fair” held this week in Seoul, where border communities promoted the benefits of increased cooperation.
Video

Video Purple Door Coffeeshop: Changing Lives One Cup at a Time

For a quarter of his life, Kevin Persons lived on the street. Today, he is working behind the counter of an espresso bar, serving coffee and working to transition off the streets and into a home. Paul Vargas reports for VOA.
Video

Video Modular Robot Getting Closer to Reality

A robot being developed at Carnegie Mellon University has evolved into a multi-legged modular mechanical snake, able to move over rugged surfaces and explore the surroundings. Scientists say such machines could someday help in search and rescue operations. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Shanghai Hosts Big Consumer Electronics Show

Electronic gadgets are a huge success in China, judging by the first Asian Consumer Electronics Show, held this week in Shanghai. Over the course of two days, more than 20,000 visitors watched, tested and played with useful and some less-useful electronic devices exhibited by about 200 manufacturers. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Forced to Return Home, Afghan Refugees Face Increased Hardship

Undocumented refugees returning to Afghanistan from Pakistan have no jobs, no support system, and no home return to, and international aid agencies say they and the government are overwhelmed and under-resourced. Ayesha Tanzeem has more from Kabul.
Video

Video Britain Makes Controversial Move to Crack Down on Extremism

Britain is moving to tighten controls on extremist rhetoric, even when it does not incite violence or hatred -- a move that some are concerned might unduly restrict basic freedoms. It is an issue many countries are grappling with as extremist groups gain power in the Middle East, fueled in part by donations and fighters from the West. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video 3D Printer Makes Replica of Iconic Sports Car

Cars with parts made by 3D printers are already on the road, but engineers are still learning about this new technology. While testing the possibility of printing an entire car, researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy recently created an electric-powered replica of an iconic sports roadster. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Al-Shabab Recruitment Drive Still on In Kenya

The al-Shabab militants that have long battled for control of Somalia also have recruited thousands of young people in Kenya, leaving many families disconsolate. Mohammed Yusuf recently visited the Kenyan town of Isiolo, and met with relatives of those recruited, as well as a many who have helped with the recruiting.
Video

Video A Small Oasis on Kabul's Outskirts Provides Relief From Security Tensions

When people in Kabul want to get away from the city and relax, many choose Qargha Lake, a small resort on the outskirts of Kabul. Ayesha Tanzeem visited and talked with people about the precious oasis.
Video

Video Kenyans Lament Losing Sons to al-Shabab

There is agony, fear and lost hope in the Kenyan town of Isiolo, a key target of a new al-Shabab recruitment drive. VOA's Mohammed Yusuf visits Isiolo to speak with families and at least one man who says he was a recruiter.
Video

Video Scientists Say Plankton More Important Than Previously Thought

Tiny ocean creatures called plankton are mostly thought of as food for whales and other large marine animals, but a four-year global study discovered, among other things, that plankton are a major source of oxygen on our planet. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Kenya’s Capital Sees Rise in Shisha Parlors

In Kenya, the smoking of shisha, a type of flavored tobacco, is the latest craze. Patrons are flocking to shisha parlors to smoke and socialize. But the practice can be addictive and harmful, though many dabblers may not realize the dangers, according to a new review. Lenny Ruvaga has more on the story for VOA from Nairobi, Kenya.

VOA Blogs