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Greece’s Extreme Right Strengthens as Economy Sinks   [Copy link] 中文

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Post time 2012-10-29 11:53:15 |Display all floors
Posted on October 23, 2012

Greece’s Extreme Right Strengthens as Economy Sinks

Andy Eckardt, CNBC, October 22, 2012


Ali Rahimi was enjoying a warm Greek evening, chatting away with two friends, when a mob of 15 people approached and asked where they were from.
“I told them that I am from Afghanistan and they said that it is time for me to go back to my country,” the 28-year-old asylum-seeker told NBC News.
Rahimi attempted to run away but was cornered, beaten, hit over the head with a bottle and stabbed in the chest and back by three assailants in the entryway of his Athens apartment building.
“When police arrived they called an ambulance, but then told me that they could not help me any further and left,” Rahimi recalled, explaining how he only realized how serious his injuries were after spotting blood running out from under his T-shirt during the brutal attack on Sept. 17, 2011.
Rahimi’s case does not appear to be unique. As the euro zone debt crisis leaves Greece grappling with a 25 percent overall unemployment rate, activists say they have noted an increase in the number of hate crimes reported.
{snip}
The Golden Dawn party—no more than an extremist fringe group when it was established in the late 1980s and which has been branded “neo-Nazi” by its opponents—has been gaining support amid the country’s deteriorating economic situation.
Citing a poll by VPRC which appeared in the “Ellada Avrio” newspaper on Friday, Reuters reported:
Backing for the ultra-nationalist Golden Dawn, which has been linked to a rise in attacks against migrants in recent months, stood at 14 percent, double their take in June elections that gave the party a foothold in parliament. That would make the group the country’s third largest party.
{snip}
Reuters added that the opinion poll showed that “Greeks’ frustration with their political leaders has grown as the coalition prepares to push through the new round of austerity measures to appease [foreign] lenders and secure more bailout aid and keep the country afloat.”
{snip}
Experts estimate that between 800,000 and 1 million undocumented migrants now live in Greece, a country with a population of nearly 11 million.
{snip}
Campaigning on a message of ultra-nationalism and fierce anti-immigrant policies, Golden Dawn won 18 seats in parliament during June’s national election.
“We have to protect 10 million Greeks that are suffering from the very bad economy and from the killings, rapes, shootings and everything else that all illegal immigrants are doing to this country,” Ilias Panagotiaros, a Golden Dawn politician and a member of Greek parliament, told NBC News.
A poll last month found that the popularity of Nikos Mihalolioakos, head of the Golden Dawn party, has climbed to 22 percent, up 8 points from May.
However, it is not just a harsh political message that has been drawing support for Golden Dawn.
In an attempt to build an image of social responsibility, followers of the movement have taken up the roles of what some Greeks call “a crumbling public support system.”
{snip}
Last month, members of Golden Dawn set up booths in a central Athens square to distribute groceries and collect blood donations. “For Greeks only” was the message, after visitors were asked to provide identification of Greek citizenship.
“Golden Dawn has been taking advantage of the growing despair, presents itself as a protector of the weak and vulnerable,” analyst Tsoukalis says. “In dangerous neighborhoods they have offered to escort old ladies to the grocery store around the corner.”
Rising political and socio-economic discontent, nurtured by a surge of crime rates in major Greek cities, have also led to widespread public acceptance that followers of Golden Dawn sometimes substitute for police and other government officials.
A video shot in early September shows members of Golden Dawn checking work permits at a local market in Rafina, where migrant vendors sell their goods. Minutes later, several people with black Golden Dawn T-shirts and Greek flags moved in and destroyed the stands.
“We are going to defend our country, our history, our religion, our culture,” Golden Dawn’s Panagiotaros adds. He is also one of the founders of a ultra-nationalistic football fan club called Galazia Stratia, or Blue Army, that has vowed to “defend Greek national pride inside the stadiums”.
{snip}
Meanwhile, Rahimi is still waiting for justice in the wake of his attack. The trial has been postponed seven times already in the past year.
“And it remains unclear, whether the prosecutor will argue that the attack had been motivated by racist or xenophobic sentiment,” Sunderland told NBC News.
{snip}
One of the three accused is Themis Skordeli, a female member of Golden Dawn, who failed to get elected to parliament last May.
According to local media reports, Skordeli has been identified as a member of a so called ‘anti-migrant patrol group’, which was formed to ‘work the streets’ of poorer Athens’ neighborhoods.
Rahimi, who came to Greece in 2005, says that he now rarely leaves his apartment and has become extremely cautious when going out to visit friends.
“I am afraid to live here,” he says. “I will wait until the trial is over and then definitely head to another country.”


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Post time 2012-10-29 17:50:34 |Display all floors
mmmmmmmmmmmmmmm not good for the poor and ordinary people of this World, but no Parliament is game to tax the super-rich. So rebel rousing rises.
Life is mostly froth and bubble, but two things stand like stone. Kindness in anothers trouble, and .courage in your own. Annon.

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Post time 2012-10-29 17:55:23 |Display all floors
They've just arrested a Greek journalist for reporting over 2,000 rich Greeks with Swiss bank accounts.
Your own mind is a sacred enclosure into which nothing harmful can enter except by your permission. Arnold Bennett

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Post time 2012-10-29 18:22:20 |Display all floors
it is true that lately walking in some areas in athens looks like you walk in Pakistan or another country.These illegal immigrants have created so many crimes and are responsible for so many thefts and danger in Greece.
I do agree they have to go back home.The question is why the system does not prevent them from coming inside the country?Police officers and some other government corrupted members close their eyes and allow these people to stay illegally.
I am against the illegal immigrants while at the same time I am strongly against any kind of violence towards them.You can not behave to a human being as if he had been an animal.Even cruelty in animals is similarly unacceptable.
Some greek people being under the state of desperation voted for the golden dawn party.They are a solution when there is no law in this country to protect the greek citizens.I am against any kind of violence but at the same time something has to be done to be protected.
I really    love China,半个 中国 人

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Post time 2012-10-29 18:28:15 |Display all floors
St_George Post time: 2012-10-29 17:55
They've just arrested a Greek journalist for reporting over 2,000 rich Greeks with Swiss bank accoun ...

I see you are very well aware about the situation in Greece.Who can believe that the government has lost the list .They dare to appear on tv and state that this list has been stolen.
All of them are corrupted and involved in the worst corruption.
They dare to cut the pension of the workers and old people ,reduce them dramatically while they leave untouched so many thousands of people with illegal and huge amounts of money abroad.
somebody has to be brave enough and drop a bomb inside the parliament ,really.Then they dare to talk about german conquer .Who gave the right to Merkel to behave like that?
yesterday we had the national holiday.None of the politicians dared to appear .
I really    love China,半个 中国 人

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Post time 2012-10-29 18:39:33 |Display all floors
xilaren Post time: 2012-10-29 18:28
I see you are very well aware about the situation in Greece.Who can believe that the government ha ...

Its the same story all over the world im afraid-ordinary people have to pay the price for corrupt politicians and their rich friends.
Your own mind is a sacred enclosure into which nothing harmful can enter except by your permission. Arnold Bennett

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Post time 2012-10-29 22:50:12 |Display all floors
This post was edited by TheHermit at 2012-10-29 23:26
xilaren Post time: 2012-10-29 18:22
it is true that lately walking in some areas in athens looks like you walk in Pakistan or another co ...

It is dangerous to ignore the Golden Dawn party, as more people by the day become sympathetic to the cause, mainly out of desperation.

The Greeks, unlike western Europeans, are still a deeply religious society, maybe only culturally so, but the church can still wield a fair amount of influence on the public.

I was greatly disappointed, during my last visit there, to find that the church by and large will toe the government line. It should rather show initiative and harness this yearning the Greeks have for higher moral standards on all fronts. Golden Dawn will then fall under the wing of the church leadership and steered into becoming a force for good.

I remember the mutterings of a couple of Bishops voicing their concerns on the economy and corruption, but on the whole the church remained silent.
The world needs more idiots like me, all the others think they are clever.

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