The Anglo-Saxon centre will ignore Greece’s Golden Dawn at its peril
Here in our relatively peaceful pre-Tsunami backwater of the United Kingdom, we are used to hype from the Social Democrat Left (and its harder fellow-travellers) about the existence of ‘Nazis’. Peter Hain built a career on finding Nazis under every bed including those containing geraniums; but in truth, old Big Feet wouldn’t know a proper Nazi if it yelled Sieg Heil in his ear’ole from an inch away.
Despite this, Hain and his earnest fellow Stalinism dupes created Anti-Nazi nurseries, Leagues, Fronts and every other form of meaningless collective noun…despite the near total non-existence of genuine goose-steppers.
What I say to them now, however, is this: “If you want to meet some dangerous, powerful, well-connected and knuckle-headed Nazis, then go to Athens. There, you will encounter Chrysi Avgi – the self-styled, bizarrely Wagnerian Party name that translates into English as Golden Dawn. These are not nice people: do you have the stomach for a real fight?”
Most folks capable of reading beyond the Sunday Sport without moving their lips will have heard of Golden Dawn. They will have seen and heard it talked about as a bunch of oddball Greek nationalists who want the EU and any associated immigrants to bugger off….indeed, on those bases they might approve of it. At worst, most people probably think of Chrysi Avgi as an eccentricity that will quickly fade away “when things return to normal”.
They couldn’t be more wrong. Chyrsi Avgi is not a throwback: it may even be a vision of the future, but that depends on what happens politically and economically over the next three years. For the reality is that Golden Dawn is, as of a week ago, officially the third most popular Party in Greece.
One serious source writes to me as follows:
‘What keeps them from growing faster is the fact they still behave like juvenile gangsters. In my area they collect the town’s fools for now, but a lot of elderly people show support and would do even more so if they would show a more mature ‘face’. Given the state the rest of the political establishment is in, and the fact Police is blatantly in favour of them, my guess is, especially in troubled parts of the country, we will see voting success that will bring national embarrassment for the years to come.’
Juvenile gangsters can, in my experience, be just as dangerous as mature ones – and a lot more violent. And Stürm-Abteilung style violence is something they do very well. Worse still – just like the Munich and Berlin constabulary in the late 1920s – the Greek police stand by and watch much of the time. Their ranks are, after all, heavily infiltrated by Chrysi Avgites.
One unfortunate person who suffered intimidation at their hands describes the scene in an Athenian police headquarters one evening recently:
“When I arrived at the Xxxxxxx police station, I was directed to the 3rd floor, where the duty officer was clearly Chrysi Avgi (the obligatory haircut, black T shirt). Entering the room with my mobile in my hand – trying to contact my lawyer – he rose in anger from his chair and demanded that I shut off my phone. Shouting, pointing, he told me I had no right to call a lawyer, no right to use my phone, no right to leave the room and no right to leave the station. He ordered me to sit in a chair – “Sit! Sit! SIT!” – and to not speak, that he would be arresting me and putting me in jail that night…..I had no desire to wait at the station. This was when the attack happened. On a completely empty street three motorcycles with engines switched off came to a halt beside me. Five Chrysi Avgites suddenly surrounded me and pushed me against the wall, demanding my ID. I said I had no obligation to show them my ID. They grabbed my bag, which I clung to, and in the tussle following I fell to the ground and was kept down by their feet….”
It goes without saying that the person concerned was attending the police HQ to deal with a trumped-up charge….almost certainly derived from a known antipathy towards Golden Dawn: “This [the attack] was to teach me a lesson for standing up to the Duty Officer the night before. In other words, the five were off-duty CA police officers.”
But we are not talking infamous SWP activist Svetlana McSovyet here. Other equally normal Slog sources have similar stories. “John, Please write something about the scary re-emergence of fascism in Greece” pleads one, appending several MSM headlines from inside Greece. The worst of these (from the respected Greek Reporter) registers the disturbing rumour that Golden Dawners now have access to files within the Interior Ministry:
‘Greece’s Interior Ministry has denied that a list it compiled of the nationalities of nursery school children was designed to provide information to the neo-Nazi Golden Dawn party which wants all immigrant children expelled from the schools. The ministry said that ethnicity is not a criterion for admission to the schools, and reported that 96 percent of the children are Greek, two percent come from other countries within the European Union and two percent from countries outside the bloc…’
Sounds like a non-story: except on further investigation, I was able to satisfy myself that Golden Dawn did indeed have the list….and had started targeting schools with high immigrant percentages. There has already been a significant rise in incidents of violence against immigrants in Greece over the last six months. In turning down a Golden Dawn request for more detail about immigrant kids recently, The Municipality of Ierapetra, Crete, bravely declared that “we will not hand over data about infants to neo-Nazis who openly threaten them.”
Faced with that refusal, Chrysi Avgi pr men told the media that they “never beat minors”, but for most Greeks such protestations of innocence lack credibility.
For me, these incidents and their limp denial are redolent of the intimidatory tactics of Hitler’s SA throughout Weimar Germany. The original Nazis too enjoyed the protection of the judiciary, the police, and large elements within the armed forces. And they too behaved like yobs in the Reichstag, or psycho paedophiles outside Jewish schools. Since Golden Dawn’s inception at the start of November 1993 in fact, the Party’s rank and file have revelled in their thuggish reputation: it is – in both senses – a profession of violence that terrifies all those who would ordinarily resist.
Last Friday evening, in an immigrant-filled neighbourhood of Athens, Ilias Panagiotaros, a Golden Dawn MP, used a megaphone to exhort an angry crowd to “fight against foreign invaders”. “We’re going to spill your blood, you Albanian pigs,” a man in the flag-waving throng screamed.
Is this just the legendary ‘tiny minority’ we so often hear about when the political class wishes to deny the reality of a backlash against their inept corruption? Hardly: a survey this month by pollster Public Issue found 21% of Greeks say they have “a favourable opinion” of the Party.
Just as in 1920s Berlin – where it tended to be the equally fascist pro-Moscow Stalinists facing down Hitler – so too at the moment the Centre or Social Democrat European parties turn up their noses while the forces of Might on the Right grow at a frightening rate. Says another valued Athenian source:
“Historically fascist groups gained power not through support at the bottom but secret support at the top. For example, Mussolini had the secret support of Italian capitalists. In Greece, the source of support points to the government. Certainly New Democracy has let Golden Dawn set the agenda on illegal immigration. Just two days ago I was told by a good source that the government is trying hard too late to control the monster they created. I am sceptical.”
As for the ‘respectable’ fascists in Berlin-am-Brussels, they continue to display no interest at all in the vermin heading upstairs from the cellar: all they care about is the bill being paid in the dining room.
There is something almost obscenely insouciant about those EU apparatchiks and their political creatures who have teased and then finally tormented the Greek people. Along the way they have managed to alienate the international bond dealers, frustrate the stock markets, anger the great majority of Europeans, empty the Central Bank’s vaults, and compromise the Single Currency…..purely by preferring the mad insistence of banking interests on impossible repayment to the obvious solution: default followed by debt forgiveness.
In that sense, Greece has been used as test-market for neocon austerity – in much the same way Spain was used as a test-bed for weaponry and bombing strategies after 1935. The irony of German intransigence rebuilding Greek fascism today in the exact same way that Anglo-French intransigence created German Nazism over eighty years is as tragic as it is obvious.
So my message tonight is simple: as Mark Twain said, “History doesn’t repeat itself, but it does rhyme rather well”. The mistake in the light of this wisdom is to imagine that pretending rhymes are not evidence of connection.
Or put another way, “For God’s sake MSM, wake up”.