Saturday, 14 April 2012
Concerns over growth of the Greek fascists.
Golden Dawn, has a political history that will be familiar to observers of European Fascist Parties.It was founded in the early eighties and copies of Mein Kampf are sold along with tracts on the racial superiority of the Greeks.It is nostalgic for the days of Wartime Nazi occupation and the military Junta that governed Greece between 1967-74.
Its leader Nikos Michaloliakos,when questioned about the Holocaust said,"I think all history is written for the winners".Ilias Kasidiaris was more forthcoming ;" The main view in Europe is that six million Jews were killed. History has shown that this is a lie,”
Their main activity over the past few years has been violent assaults on immigrants.They blame the porous borders for an influx of illegal immigrants .None of Greeks economists think that illegal immigrants are having any effect on the economy
whatsoever.For most this is flagrant scapegoating.
However in some circles the old -though thoroughly discredited- tactic of attempting to co-opt the racist vote by parties of the left seems to be happening.
As the New York Times reports:
"The Socialists, who were in power when Greece asked for a foreign bailout, have seen their popularity plummet, and they are desperate for a way to reconnect with voters. This month, Greece’s public order minister, Michalis Chrisochoidis, a Socialist in the interim government of Prime Minister Lucas Papademos, said Greece would set up detention centers for illegal immigrants. And the Socialist health minister caused a stir when he said that Greece would require illegal immigrants to undergo checks for infectious diseases."
The french experience,where the communists and socialists attempted to undermine Le Pens fascist vote by making comments about smelly immigrants and harsher immigration controls was a disaster.It merely gave left cover to racist discourse.Last week one opinion poll put Marine Le Pens support amongst the under 25s at an almost unbelievable 25%.
Whilst there has been fulsome opposition to the Nazis recently,these type of tactics could provide a window that could lead to a breakthrough.
The french experience has shown that opposition without principle can be extremely dangerous.Latest polls in Greece are indicating that Golden Dawn are developing into not just a physical danger but also a political one.
It would be a tragedy if a country like Greece which has such a courageous record in opposing Fascism ,allowed them to get a foothold-albeit a small one-during this time of crisis.