When a society crumbles…
Nearly two months after the launch of a judicial investigation into the neo-Nazi party – which is reportedly linked to 10 murders, attempted murders, blackmail, money laundering and other crimes – public surveys suggest that despite the aura of criminality around Golden Dawn, its popularity remains. An ALCO poll conducted between November 12-15 for Sunday’s Proto Thema newspaper put Golden Dawn, which controls 18 seats in the 300-strong House, in third place with 8.8 percent, up from 6.6 in a previous poll carried out a month earlier. A Pulse survey for To Pontiki weekly between November 8-12 put the party even higher at 10.5 percent and clearly ahead of once-dominant PASOK socialists, withering at 6.5 percent. A Metron Analysis poll for Ethnos on Sunday put support for Golden Dawn at 10 percent, more than 2 percentage points higher than about a month earlier.
…Whereas it was once a taboo to endorse Golden Dawn publicly, over recent months several high profile figures have been happy to admit their admiration for the extremist party. Singer Petros Gaitanos, famous for his performances of Byzantine liturgy, pop artist Yiannis Ploutarchos or the idiosyncratic Notis Sfakianakis [another singer] , have bashed the “corrupt” establishment and openly voiced their support Golden Dawn. In a much-publicized outburst last week, singer Sfakianakis praised Greece’s 1967-1974 military dictatorship, urged support for Golden Dawn and called [the somewhat portly] government Deputy Prime Minister Evangelos Venizelos a “pig.” –
…Critics from the left have accused the government of not actually being interested in bringing alleged criminals to justice, but rather intent on marginalising an upstart that is siphoning voters away from the two coalition parties. In the June 2012 election, four out of 10 Greeks who cast their vote for Golden Dawn were former New Democracy supporters. Vassiliki Georgiadou, a political science professor at Panteion University in Athens and an expert on right-wing radicalism, notes that a big chunk of the anti-fascist movement in Greece deems that the whole Golden Dawn clampdown is a bit “fishy”.
…On November 1, four days after “Ochi day,” two Golden Dawn sympathizers, Manolis Kapelonis, 23, and Giorgos Fountoulis, 26, were gunned down underneath the Metaxas banner in a point blank shooting as they patrolled outside the party’s offices in the northern Athens suburb of Neo Iraklio, rekindling the party’s ratings. A previously unknown group, the Militant People’s Revolutionary Forces, claimed responsibility for the killings. In an 18-page proclamation, the organization said the attack had been carried out in retaliation for the stabbing of Fyssas. Police have not confirmed the authenticity of the claim.
Wasn’t the introduction of the single currency meant to bury the demons of Europe’s past once and for all?