Thursday, March 5, 2020

Golden Dawn: the rise and fall of Greece’s neo-Nazis

Greece Nazi violence crime immigration Gold Dawn

A decade ago, violent racists exploited a national crisis and entered mainstream politics in Greece. The party has since been caught up in the biggest trial of Nazis since Nuremberg, and is now crumbling – but its success remains a warning. By Daniel Trilling

After he stabbed Pavlos Fyssas in the chest, leaving him to bleed to death on the pavement, Giorgos Roupakias walked calmly back to his car and waited to be arrested. “Don’t give me away, I’m one of you,” he said, according to a police officer who arrived at the scene.

“What do you mean, are you police?” asked the officer.

“No, I am Golden Dawn.”

Roupakias, an unemployed lorry driver, would later claim that the killing was an act of self-defence. He said he had simply got caught up in a random street brawl in the Greek port city of Piraeus, shortly after midnight on 18 September 2013. What he told the police officer, overheard by several witnesses, suggested something quite different. Golden Dawn was a neo-Nazi party that had risen to prominence the previous year amid Greece’s economic crisis. The party had gone from winning fewer than 20,000 votes in the country’s 2009 general election to winning more than 7% of the vote, and 18 parliamentary seats, in 2012. No outright fascist party in Europe had made such gains in a general election for years.  (more...)

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