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

    Ethiopia's Anti-terrorism Law: Security or Silencing Dissent?

    Yonatan Tesfaye was detained in December 2015 on charges under Ethiopia's Anti-Terrorism Proclamation; eleven statements from his Facebook page were used as evidence

    Egypt Orders Trial for Journalists Charged With Harboring Reporters

    Order targets journalists' union chief Yehia Qalash, Khaled al-Balshy and Gamal Abdel Rahim for allegedly spreading false news, harboring fugitive colleagues

    Nigerian Oil Production Falls as Militant Attacks Take Toll

    Country no longer Africa's petroleum king due to renewed militancy in its oil-producing region

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    New Chapter for Tunisia's Ennahdai
    X
    Lisa Schlein
    May 31, 2016 1:56 PM
    Tunisia’s moderate Islamist Ennahda party says it is separating its religious and political activities in a broader bid to mark its so-called Muslim Democratic identity. The move appears to open a new chapter for a party that bounced back from the political wilderness of Tunisia’s pre-revolution days to become a key player in the North African country, and a member of the current coalition government. From Tunis, Lisa Bryant takes a look at how Tunisians are viewing its latest step.
    Video

    Video New Chapter for Tunisia's Ennahda

    Tunisia’s moderate Islamist Ennahda party says it is separating its religious and political activities in a broader bid to mark its so-called Muslim Democratic identity. The move appears to open a new chapter for a party that bounced back from the political wilderness of Tunisia’s pre-revolution days to become a key player in the North African country, and a member of the current coalition government. From Tunis, Lisa Bryant takes a look at how Tunisians are viewing its latest step.
    Video

    Video New Mobile App Allows Dutch Muslims to Rate their Imams

    If a young Dutch-Moroccan app developer has his way, Muslims in the Netherlands will soon be able to rate their imams online. Mohamed Mouman says imams rarely get feedback from their followers. He believes his app can give prayer leaders a better picture of what's happening in their communities — and can also keep young people from being radicalized. Serginho Roosblad reports from Amsterdam.
    Video

    Video Moscow Condemns NATO Plans to Beef Up Defense in Eastern Europe, Baltics

    NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said Monday an upcoming "landmark summit" will enhance the alliance's defensive and deterrent presence in eastern Europe and the Baltics. He is visiting Poland ahead of the NATO Summit in Warsaw. Zlatica Hoke reports
    Video

    Video Tech Startups Showcase Wares at Amsterdam Conference

    More than 20,000 tech enthusiasts, entrepreneurs and lovers of digital technology came together in Amsterdam recently at the Next Web Conference to discuss the latest developments in digital technology, look to the future and, of course, to connect. In recent years, there has been an explosion of so-called startup businesses that have created devices and applications that have changed the way we live; but, as Serginho Roosblad reports for VOA, there are pitfalls for such startups as well.
    Video

    Video US Military's Fallen Honored With Flags

    Memorial Day is a long weekend for most Americans. For some, it is the unofficial start of summer -- local swimming pools open and outdoor grilling season begins. But Memorial Day remains true to its origins -- a day to remember the U.S. military's fallen.
    Video

    Video Rolling Thunder Rolls Into Washington

    The Rolling Thunder caravan of motorcycles rolled into Washington Sunday, to support the U.S. military on the country's Memorial Day weekend
    Video

    Video A New Reading Program Pairs Kids with Dogs

    Dogs, it is said, are man's best friend. What some researchers have discovered is that they can also be a friend to a struggling reader. A group called Intermountain Therapy Animals trains dogs to help all kinds of kids with reading problems — from those with special needs to those for whom English is a second language. Faiza Elmasry has more on the New York chapter of R.E.A.D., or Reading Education Assistance Dogs, in this piece narrated by Faith Lapidus.
    Video

    Video Fan Base Grows for Fictional Wyoming Sheriff Longmire

    Around the world, the most enduring symbol of the U.S. is that of the cowboy. A very small percentage of Americans live in Western rural areas, and fewer still are cowboys. But the fascination with the American West is kept alive by such cultural offerings as “Longmire,” a series of books and TV episodes about a fictional Wyoming sheriff. VOA’s Greg Flakus recently spoke with Longmire’s creator, Craig Johnson, and filed this report from Houston.
    Video

    Video Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trend

    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Reactions to Trump's Success Polarized Abroad

    What seemed impossible less than a year ago is now almost a certainty. New York real estate mogul Donald Trump has won the number of delegates needed to secure the Republican presidential nomination. The prospect has sparked as much controversy abroad as it has in the United States. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video F-35 Fighter Jet Draws Criticisms as Costs Mount

    America’s latest fighter plane, the F-35, has been mired in controversy. Critics cite cost, faulty design, and the attempt to use it to fill multiple roles. Even the pilot’s helmet is controversial. VOA’s Bernard Shusman reports from New York.
    Video

    Video Concerns Over Civilian Suffering as Iraqi Forces Surround Fallujah

    Thousands of residents are trapped inside the IS-held city ahead of a full scale Iraqi offensive aimed at retaking it.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora