The rise of Greece’s Golden Dawn: Ultranationalist party raises fears as it builds a network of public aid reserved only for Greek citizens and is accused of violence against immigrants.
[Xenophobia is a most basic weapon against the working class when the capitalist and imperialist attacks are waged with great and desperate aggression. The challenge to confront these malevolent movements, to expose their puppetmasters, and to defeat their attacks is a major challenge for the revolutionary proletariat, in Greece and everywhere. — Frontlines ed.]
By Anthony Faiola, Washington Post, October 20, 2012
ATHENS — At first glance, the shop on a nondescript street in this chaotic capital looks standard-issue military. Fatigues. Camouflage. Hunting gear. Deeper inside, the political message emerges. Black T-shirts emblazoned with modified swastikas — the symbol of the far-right Golden Dawn party — are on sale. A proudly displayed sticker carries a favorite party slogan: “Get the Stench out of Greece.”
By “stench,” the Golden Dawn — which won its first-ever seats in the Greek Parliament this spring and whose popularity has soared ever since — means immigrants, broadly defined as anyone not of Greek ancestry. In the country at the epicenter of Europe’s debt crisis, and where poverty and unemployment are spiking, the surplus shop doubles as one of the party’s dozens of new “help bureaus.” Hundreds of calls a day come in from desperate families seeking food, clothing and jobs, all of which the Golden Dawn is endeavoring to provide, with one major caveat: for Greeks only.
To fulfill its promise of a Greece for Greeks alone, the party appears willing to go to great lengths. Its supporters — in some instances with the alleged cooperation of police — stand accused of unleashing a rash of violence since the party rose to national office, including the stabbings and beatings of immigrants, ransacking an immigrant community center, smashing market stalls and breaking the windows of immigrant-owned shops. Continue reading