"The time for fear has come."
"The time for fear has come for those who betrayed this homeland," Golden Dawn leader Nikos Michaloliakos announced at a press conference at an Athens hotel, flanked by menacing shaven-headed young men.
It is important to point out that Greece's Golden Dawn Party are not Post-Fascist ,Proto-Nazi Crypto-Nazi or Semi Nazi.
They are Nazis.
Old school ,Holocaust denying ,racial supremacist,violent ,Mein Kampf reading Nazis.
The background of Golden Dawn is strictly old school and has been discussed on this site before.
Golden Dawn has gone from an irrelevant movement barely getting 0.3% of the vote to now polling around 7%.
Nazis thrive on misery and the financial bailout of Greece has caused plenty of that.
More than two years of repeated austerity measures that have included pension and salary cuts and waves of tax hikes have pushed Greece into a deep recession that has seen the jobless rate explode and tens of thousands of businesses close.
There is now talk of an additional 15% cut in wages.
According to The Guardian reporting in February:
"Greeks have already suffered a 30% cut in wages and can look forward to steep cuts in the minimum wage as well as pensions as the price for securing the latest €130bn bailout which, with €34.4bn rolled over from the original €109bn rescue package, gives €164.4bn available over the next three years.
The sheer scale of the fresh dose of austerity, doubts over the ability of both the Greek government and the eurozone to reach targets and gaps in the eurogroup deal prompted cynics to suggest the agreement would hold together for only a few months. Some non-eurozone diplomats have already begun speculating about when a third package will be required to keep Greece within the euro.
Papademos, who flew to Brussels to help broker the deal, secured significant backing from a large group of private bondholders for the increased 53.5% nominal "haircut". He also won an extra €10bn in the package for the recapitalisation of Greek banks which now see €50bn set aside.
The proceeds from privatisations, already scheduled to raise €50bn, have so far been a paltry €1.6bn from five transactions and the new programme envisages raising €19bn from 35 transactions. But the full proceeds will only be raised if the Greek state sells off huge tracts of land and buildings, the officials conceded."
Every other week more and more demands have been made on the Greek people to bear greater burdens for the crisis.There have been constant strikes in response to the austerity measures.
The question has been not whether Greek anger would explode but when.
Although the left have been the principle beneficiaries of the anger the growth of the Nazis must not be overlooked.
In it's TV campaign it's slogan was “Let’s rid this country of the stench.”
Golden Dawn's official motto is, “So we can rid the land of filth.”
Golden Dawn’s charter says its “main ideal and belief is the nation-tribe” and that “only men and women of Greek descent and consciousness should have full political rights.”
There have been many reports of violence against dark skinned Greeks ,or anyone who might be an immigrant,legal or not.
It is also very clear that their violence is not being challenged by the police and many feel that the police are in some sort of alliance with Golden Dawn.
Javad Aslan, a spokesman for Greece’s Pakistani immigrant community,voiced his concerns over Golden Dawns electoral success..
“This is dangerous for everyone who is living in Greece,” Aslan said.
“This (result) unbelievable for me. It is very serious, very dangerous. I can never believe a political party that comes with knives and bars against us, that hurts people and puts them in hospital.”
The black-shirted thugs of GD have also been attacking political opponents. A Pasok candidate was chased down the street and attacked with bottles and bricks.
Golden Dawn conforms to all the aspects of classical fascism.It clearly now is a political and physical threat.
The rise of Marine Le Pen in France has given hope to GD. The right in France have tried to appeal to the rise of the Fascists by directly appealing to their base.
Antonis Samaras,leader of New Democracy has aligned himself with the church and announced it's centrality to Greek identity.He has also made a commitment to repeal a law giving citizenship rights to the children of legal immigrants.Unfortunately much as in France it is not only the right wing who attempt to appeal to racist attitudes.
As Mario Margonis points out in The Nation:
"But populist nationalism is not confined to the right. At least since the rule of the first Pasok prime minister, Andreas Papandreou, in the 1980s, parts of the Greek left have had a strong nationalist streak, rooted in the anti-imperialist opposition to the CIA-backed junta and to decades of cold war meddling in Greek politics. Now, with Greece’s sovereignty once again hemmed in by foreign powers, those buttons are easy to push, and make for strange bedfellows. Politicians of all stripes reach for ugly metaphors of disease and war.
In April Pasok ministers called the migrants in Athens a “hygenic time bomb” and began turning military bases into detention centers.
A Russian prostitute who tested HIV-positive was locked up on criminal charges and had her picture plastered all over the media; when several Greek hookers were also found to be carriers, the immigration panic morphed into a moral one. Half the worried johns who called a public helpline turned out to be—shock, horror—married men, carrying infection into the heart of the “Greek family.”
The Nazis are also going into deprived areas with food to give to the poor, whilst propagandising, a tactic lifted from Hitlers Nazi's.
The BBC reported these comments from their supporters:
"We believe in our race, we believe in our nation's power," Athina says. "These immigrants have not been checked for diseases. If a Greek person feels threatened by an immigrant, I justify someone trying to give them justice.
"I don't know why I should care about violence against immigrants."
"We are not racist," Rosalie assures me. "They [immigrants] are [racist] towards us, because we love our country. Is this wrong?
"We brought civilisation, we brought everything. They kill us and they rape us."
They are now likely to have about 21 seats.
This is their leader ranting at a post election press conference.
With the Elections now over in France and Hollande victorious,arguments against austerity are now far more mainstream.
The crisis in Greece is the most extreme crisis in Europe ,which means anything is possible.
In these situations anything can happen.
Greece faces an acid test next month when it must give parliamentary approval for over 11 billion euros in extra spending cuts for 2013 and 2014 in exchange for more aid from the European Union and International Monetary Fund.
Considering the results that is going to be a tough call.
With the rise of various competing lefts, Golden Dawn should be easy to neutralise,however with an emerging paramilitary wing seemingly acting with the connivance of the police and a political wing,the time to act is now.
If they are allowed to grow it could be disastrous.Elements in the Greek establishment have turned to Fascist solutions before,and if it is a realistic option might do so again.