Greece’s Far-Right Party Goes on the Offensive

by Brian

Greece’s Far-Right Party Goes on the Offensive by Dina Kyriakidou at Reuters

After Auschwitz, Goebbels, and Mussolini, the Western world vowed to never let such a tragic era of human history repeat itself. But just as Hitler rose to power in the wreckage of Germany’s economic crisis, a new fascist threat lurks in Greece: Golden Dawn.

The overtly fascist party–its members regularly rough up, and in some cases kill, immigrants just because they are not ethnically Greek–received a mere 0.29% of the vote in 2009. Only three years later in the unrelenting Greek crisis, polls have shown that 10.4% of Greeks now support the party. The Panhellenic Socialist Movement, or PASOK, maintained majority control of the Greek parliament in 2009 as it received 43.9% of the vote. In the same poll that has Golden Dawn at 10.4%, PASOK commands a mere 7.5% of the vote. The Coalition of the Radical Left, or Syriza, whose members include Maoists and Trotskyists, have also seen a meteoric rise during Greece’s economic crisis.

Such turbulence demonstrates the incredible fluidity of Greek politics, the desperation of Greeks, and their desire for a radical solution to their problems (both parties are robustly opposed to further bailouts).

Greek politicians and leaders, like nearly all of their counterparts in the world, have been woefully unreceptive to the demands and concerns of their people. Golden Dawn, in a move of political genius, is exploiting these anxieties: average Greeks are repulsed by further bailouts and austerity–Golden Dawn’s opposition to them only strengthens; the Greek state is unable to fulfill many social services–Golden Dawn will now take care of them.

With rising popularity, the abject fascism  of Golden Dawn may soon arrive in Greece. The ultimate tragicomedy is being written: western democracy will die in its birthplace.

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