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EUROPE > Greek neo-Nazi Golden Dawn returns to parliament

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Members of extreme right party Golden Dawn celebrate holding flares in northern coastal city of Thessaloniki after Greece's general elections. REUTERS photo

Members of extreme right party Golden Dawn celebrate holding flares in northern coastal city of Thessaloniki after Greece's general elections. REUTERS photo

An extreme right party that campaigned to rid Greece of illegal immigrants largely held its bloc of seats in parliamentary elections Sunday, retaining support after a party official slapped a female politician and threw a glass of water on another on live television during the campaign.

Official projections showed the Golden Dawn party returning to the 300-member parliament with 18 seats, just three fewer than it had won in an inconclusive election on May 6, when no party won enough votes to form a government amid a deep financial crisis that threatens Greece's place in the Eurozone and could hurt the global economy.

The conservative New Democracy party came first and could gather enough support to form a coalition as it seeks to soften the tough terms of an international bailout deal that is keeping Greek finances afloat. While New Democracy will not court Golden Dawn in any power-sharing arrangement, the entry of the far-right party into parliament this year for the first time is seen by many Greeks as a symptom of the alienation and hardship that their society is experiencing.

"I would like to thank the hundreds of thousands of Greeks who did not change their vote, despite the effort of wretched propaganda by the paid stooges on TV," said Golden Dawn leader Nikolaos Michaloliakos, whose party capitalized on a wave of anger over how mainstream politicians have handled Greece's economic woes. "We will continue the fight for a Greece that belongs to Greeks." In the northern city of Thessaloniki, Golden Dawn supporters celebrated outside their party headquarters by setting off flares and small fireworks.

Earlier this month, Ilias Kasidiaris, the 31-year-old spokesman for Golden Dawn, accosted two politicians from leftist parties on live TV and defied an arrest warrant that was later issued against him. He also sued the politicians, accusing them of unprovoked insults.

Golden Dawn, which vehemently denies a neo-Nazi label, has been accused of violent attacks against immigrants in Athens, and its members have also allegedly been involved in clashes with left-wing and anarchist groups. The party insists it is a nationalist patriotic group.

It opposes the international bailout deal for Greece, and advocates cleaning up crime-ridden neighborhoods and mining Greece's borders to stop illegal immigration.

June/18/2012

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DORUS LIVIS

6/19/2012 3:40:28 PM

@kenan: I think Peter means that due to the fact that in democracy almost anyone can be a candidate at the elections, even radicals can be as well. That is not only because you cannot deny them to be candidates but also because if the state decided to set them "out of law" this would probably increase their power. It is better if they are exposed to the public opinion

kerem atan

6/19/2012 2:46:22 PM

peter kypros your comment doesnt make any sense. so can we deduce from your statements that the outlook for greek democracy is on the basis of racism and xenophobia since an anti-democratic party has got into the greek parliament.racist parties stand for the greek democracy apparently. slapping women and doing a nazi salute is a part of democracy as well in greece?

Mark Mark

6/19/2012 11:48:46 AM

Turkey was happily supplying weapons to the Nazi's during WWII, regardless of neutrality.

john albay

6/18/2012 9:58:14 PM

@ thessalonian thank you for your advice I have taken it and I still find all the greek parties are corrupt (that why you are bankrupt) and the nazis parties are all Adolf Hitlers party even if they call them selves something else-did you vote for golden dawn? it would not suprise me as you are so anti Turkish-

Brit in Turkey

6/18/2012 8:36:56 PM

@Chris Green - re: Turkey's neutrality in WWII. There is at least one story that exemplifies that Turkey, on the quiet, supported the Allies - the British navy sheltered in Marmaris bay!

Tony Gkatas

6/18/2012 6:36:25 PM

Aid that was paid from the wealthy tax imposed to all Greeks of Constantinople

kemal H

6/18/2012 6:22:22 PM

@ All Greeks. I am never to big to retract any comment I post and I fully accept that there are some Greeks on this forum that are hurt by my comment. Therefore I would like to offer my sincere apologies if I hurt your feelings and as a result I will no longer post any more comments on the HDN as a gesture of my sincerity. Regards.

kemal H

6/18/2012 6:10:21 PM

@ All Greeks. You must not forget the food and medical aid given to Greece by Turkey during the second world war, that saved many Greek lives.

Chris Green

6/18/2012 5:11:06 PM

Thessalonian: Earlier I picked up on what I perceived to be historic inaccuracies from Kemal bey, with whom I am usually in broad agreement with. Turkey were neutral in WW2 whereas in WW1 their losses were huge although in a different form of conflict. Given that neutrality, Turkish lives were unlikely to be lost, but you may not be aware that Turkey were on Hitler's 'invade list' irrespective of neutrality but presumably the events post 1943 ended that idea!

Thessalonian

6/18/2012 3:32:43 PM

@Kemal H, your sinister and malignant desperation in trying to diminish the priceless value of the spilled blood of the Greek resistance fighters during WWII defies logic by gargantuan margins. Not unusual, coming from your pathetic ilk. Instead, why don't you tell us how many Turks lost their lives, defending the world's freedom from Hitler's and Musolini's fascist aspirations, by sitting on the fence and claiming neutrality, while Europe was been baithed in blood by the latter. Regards
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