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
TEXT SIZE - +
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

Watch the video

x
Greek Far Right Makes Gains, Demands Landmines on Bordersi
|| 0:00:00
X
Henry Ridgwell
May 09, 2012
Greece's far-right "Golden Dawn" party is set to enter the Greek parliament for the first time. The party is demanding that all immigrants be "sent home," and wants land mines planted along the Turkish border. As Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA, the result has caused alarm across Greece and beyond, as fears grow that the economic crisis is benefiting extremist politicians.

Watch the video

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

Photogallery Pope's Easter Prayer: Peace in Ukraine, Syria

Pontiff also calls for end to terrorist acts in Nigeria, violence in Iraq, and success in peace talks between Israelis and Palestinians More

Abdullah Holds Lead in Afghan Presidential Election

Country's Election Commission says that with half of the ballots counted, former FM remains in the lead with 44 percent of the vote More

Russia-Ukraine Crisis Could Trigger Cyber War

As tensions between Kyiv and Moscow escalate, so too has frequency of online attacks targeting government, news and financial sites More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politicsi
X
Michael Eckels
April 19, 2014
There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politics

There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Face of American Farmer is Changing

The average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population. It’s a troubling trend signaling big changes ahead for American agriculture as aging farmers retire. Reporter Mike Osborne says a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau is suggesting what some of those changes might look like... and why they might not be so troubling.
Video

Video Donetsk Governor: Ukraine Military Assault 'Delicate But Necessary'

Around a dozen state buildings in eastern Ukraine remain in the hands of pro-Russian protesters who are demanding a referendum on self-rule. The governor of the whole Donetsk region is among those forced out by the protesters. He spoke to VOA's Henry Ridgwell from his temporary new office in Donetsk city.
Video

Video Drones May Soon Send Data From High Seas

Drones are usually associated with unmanned flying vehicles, but autonomous watercraft are also becoming useful tools for jobs ranging from scientific exploration to law enforcement to searching for a missing airliner in the Indian Ocean. VOA’s George Putic reports on sea-faring drones.
Video

Video New Earth-Size Planet Found

Not too big, not too small. Not too hot, not too cold. A newly discovered planet looks just right for life as we know it, according to an international group of astronomers. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Copts in Diaspora Worry About Future in Egypt

Around 10 percent of Egypt’s population belong to the Coptic faith, making them the largest Christian minority in the Middle East. But they have become targets of violence since the revolution three years ago. With elections scheduled for May and the struggle between the Egyptian military and Islamists continuing, many Copts abroad are deeply worried about the future of their ancient church. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky visited a Coptic church outside Washington DC.
Video

Video Critics Say Venezuelan Protests Test Limits of Military's Support

During the two months of deadly anti-government protests that have rocked the oil-rich nation of Venezuela, President Nicolas Maduro has accused the opposition of trying to initiate a coup. Though a small number of military officers have been arrested for allegedly plotting against the government, VOA’s Brian Padden reports the leadership of the armed forces continues to support the president, at least for now.
Video

Video More Millenials Unplug to Embrace Board Games

A big new trend in the U.S. toy industry has more consumers switching off their high-tech gadgets to play with classic toys, like board games. This is especially true among the so-called millenial generation - those born in the 1980's and 90's. Elizabeth Lee has more from an unusual café in Los Angeles, where the new trend is popular and business is booming.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
AppleAndroid