Greece: vote, Golden Dawn third, the black shade stays on

Leader and all MPs from neo-Nazi part jailed

26 January, 12:40

    (ANSAmed) - ATHENS, JANUARY 26 - The worst nightmare for democratic Greeks has become a reality. Repeating the success of national elections on June 17, 2012 - in which it won 6.92% of the vote and 18 seats in Parliament - far-right party Chrysi Avghì (Golden Dawn, which has strong neo-Nazi and racist connotations) obtained 6.28% of the vote and 17 seats, becoming the country's third-largest party after Syriza and Nea Dimokratia. The vote confirmed some forecasts over the past months: the country, devastated by over five years of an economic crisis and deep recession, is increasingly divided, as shown by the polarization of the electorate at the expense of centrist and Social Democratic parties.

    Those who hoped that a wave of arrests last year among members of the party founded and led by Nikos Michaloliakos could crush the resurgence of neo-Nazi feelings in Greece were wrong. The desperation of people and vote ''of rage'' against traditional parties prevailed over consideration and this time as well Greeks voted as a form of retaliation in favor of more extremist political movements.

    Golden Dawn ended up in Parliament for the first time in its history on May 6, 2012, obtaining 6.97% of the vote and 21 seats (over 300) in Parliament. The subsequent June 17 the party of Michaloliakos again obtained 6.92% of the vote and 18 seats, widely prevailing over another right-wing party Laos - a staple of the most reactionary right in Greece - which did not exceed (neither on May 6 nor on June 17) the 3% threshold necessary to enter Parliament.

    Among the issues raised by Golden Dawn that most attracted votes were without a doubt the hard line against crime, illegal immigration (one of the proposals was to mine borders) and the forced expulsion of illegal immigrants. These proposals certainly contributed in attracting the votes of an increasingly tired and confused electorate but, mostly, of voters who are angry with the same parties perceived as responsible for disaster in the country.

    All lawmakers from Golden Dawn, detained for months on charges of setting up a criminal organization, voted in polling stations set up in jails across the country. Among them, were Michaloliakos, party spokesman Ilias Kassidiaris, as well as Nikos Michos, Yannis Lagos, Giorgos Germenis and Efstathios Mpoukouras. Last October 16, judge Isidoros Dogiakos sought their indictment, along with that of the other party MPs. Greek magistrates opened a probe over the suspected criminal activities of the neo-Nazi party after the murder of anti-fascist rapper Pavlos Fyssas in Athens, on September 18, 2013. Golden Dawn militant Georgios Roupakias confessed to the murder.(ANSAmed).

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