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EUROPE > Greece's Golden Dawn lost half of support, poll shows

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A woman walks past graffiti sprayed on the Athens Academy. AFP photo

A woman walks past graffiti sprayed on the Athens Academy. AFP photo

Most Greeks view the far-right Golden Dawn party as a criminal organization, according to a poll published Oct. 4 that found the party had lost almost half of its support since its leader and lawmakers were arrested.

Party leader Nikolaos Michaloliakos, five senior lawmakers and dozens of party members were arrested on Sept. 28 on charges of belonging to a criminal group in a crackdown that followed the killing of anti-fascist rapper Pavlos Fyssas by an avowed Golden Dawn supporter, as well as a spate of attacks on migrants.

Michaloliakos and two fellow lawmakers were sent to jail pending trial while three other MPs were freed with orders to not leave Greece. All six have denied the charges against them and say they are victims of political persecution.

Mihaloliakos, grey-haired and bespectacled, shouted: “Long live Greece! Victory!” as he was led away from court in handcuffs in the early hours of Oct. 3. He denied charges of founding and belonging to a criminal organization during a six-hour plea session before a judge.

His wife and daughter, joined by Golden Dawn lawmakers, stood outside the court in the rain. “You are a diamond – don’t buckle,” his wife Eleni Zaroulia, a fellow lawmaker, told him.

Flag-waving supporters, meanwhile, yelled a popular party slogan: “Blood! Honor! Golden Dawn!”
The poll by VPRC for the rizopoulospost.com website, conducted in two rounds on Sept. 25 and Sept. 30-Oct. 3, found support for Golden Dawn stood at 8.5 percent, down from 14.5 percent in July.

'Criminal organization'

A majority of 68 percent believe Golden Dawn is a criminal organization, the survey showed.

Police have found unlicensed weapons and Nazi memorabilia in searches of the homes of arrested members but the party, whose emblem resembles a swastika, rejects the neo-Nazi label.

Golden Dawn, which won over many Greeks angry at traditional parties over the country’s economic collapse, record unemployment and a rise in crime, remains the third most popular political force.

It is still more popular that the once-mighty Socialist Pasok party, junior partner in Prime Minister Antonis Samaras’ coalition government, which has just 7 percent support, according to the poll.

The anti-bailout opposition leftist Syriza topped the poll with 29.5 percent support while Samaras’ conservative New Democracy party stood at 29 percent.

Golden Dawn won 18 seats in Parliament in elections last year with about 7 percent of the vote after being relatively unknown for years.

The party says it is a victim of a politically-motivated witch hunt by the government to rob it of votes.

October/04/2013

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READER COMMENTS

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Thessalonian

10/7/2013 3:08:17 PM

@john albay. You are absolutely right Mr. albay. However, It must be done within the bounds and provisions of the country's constitutional laws. Regards

Thessalonian

10/7/2013 3:04:16 PM

Mordechai Vanunu is now really confused...Regards

john albay

10/7/2013 12:08:43 AM

The greek people are not stupid,they now have seen through the lies of these nazis,they will now be banned and their leaders put in jail where they belong.

Arnold Yesovitch

10/4/2013 9:16:13 PM

As a Canadian business person watching the economy over the past 10 years I could see hard times coming my way. As a result I pulled back on my spending and learned to live within my means and even then it is difficult. Now how does a country like Greece especially while being part of the EU not see the hand writing on the wall long before me. To allow things to get so bad that a party like Golden Dawn gets a breathe of life is a shame.

ilker avni

10/4/2013 7:26:41 PM

The Eu is a disgrace for allowing a Nazi party back into Europe.Eu should have thrown Greece out.

Mordechai Vanunu

10/4/2013 6:40:02 PM

TheSSalonian is now really alone

ilker avni

10/4/2013 5:27:45 PM

The free soup to bribe the hard up greeks has stopped,the support for the nazi party has halfed.

Suhail Shafi

10/4/2013 5:06:30 PM

There is nothing democratic about attacking people on their streets over their skin colour, ethnicity or political views. Greece should ban the Golden Dawn party and recognize it for the terrorist organization that it is.
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