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Greek Neo-Nazis Gain Parliamentary Seat in Elections

Greek Neo-Nazis Gain Parliamentary Seat in Elections

The political landscape in Greece is about to undergo a drastic shake-up according to preliminary results from Sunday’s parliamentary elections. With 98% of the votes accounted for, the center-right party New Democracy party has won about 18.9%. Left-wing coalition Syriza — which had campaigned fervently against austerity — is in second place, with about 16.8%and the Socialist party PASOK, led by former finance minister Evangelos Venizelos, is trailing in third place with about 13.2%.

In contrast, New Democracy won 33.5% of the votes in 2009 and PASOK, 43.9%. The two parties have been in coalition since November of 2011 after Socialist Prime Minister George Papandreou resigned following months of acrimony over passing a series of austerity measures. These had been demanded by the “troika” — the European Union, the International Monetary Fund and the European Central Bank — in order for Greece to receive the next installment of 11 billion euros in bailout funds, to help the country pay off its massive debt.

In a troubling trend, the neo-Nazi Chrysi Avgi (Golden Dawn) party, which champions an anti-immigrant platform and whose symbol represents the swastika, has won about 7.0% of votes and is poised to win seats in the Vouli or Greek parliament for the first time.

The new right-wing Independent Greeks party has won 10.6%, according to preliminary results. Its leader, Panos Kammenos, has said that his party will not cooperate with New Democracy and PASOK.

Crucial Elections For Greece’s Future

The elections, called by technocrat prime minister Lucas Papademos, are the most crucial in Greece since the restoration of democracy in 1974. The results of the parliamentary elections are, say analysts, what ensues when a country is pushed into successive rounds of austerity measures. Greeks have said that they are losing their sovereignty to outside powers: The EU and IMF are demanding that the government cut $15.5 billion over the next two years, if Greece wishes to secure the next installments of bailout funds.

Greece is in the fifth year of a recession and unemployment is at 21%.

Othan Anastasakis, director of south-east European studies at Oxford University, told the BBC that it would be “unprecedented” if no one party wins more than 20% of the vote. If one party fails to win a majority to form a government, the victor must seek to form a coalition with rivals, says the BBC. If the party in first place cannot form such, it falls to the party in second place to seek to do so, and — should it fail — then to the party in third place. If no coalition can be formed, another election can be held — an outcome that will not be well-regarded by Greece’s international creditors, especially if parties opposed to the bailout form a coalition together.

Greece’s membership in the euro zone, often in question over the past year, remains unresolved. Both New Democracy and PASOK have dominated Greek politics for the past forty years and have been at the forefront of pushing for austerity measures. New Democracy leader Anton Samaras says that, while his party will seek to form a “national salvation government” to keep Greece in the EU, he will also work to “amend” the EU-IMF bailout agreement to boost growth. But prominent Syriza MP Panaghiotis Lafazanis has said that his party will keep its pre-election promise of forming a government of “the united left” that will seek to end the fiscal remedies demanded by the EU and the IMF.

Volunteer lawyers working at the election booths reported a somber mood among voters, many of whome appeared dressed in their Sunday best, says the Guardian. People were said to be taking an “inordinately long time” choosing which candidates to support at a time when the future of Greece hangs in the balance.

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55 comments

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8:53AM PST on Feb 23, 2013

Ewelina, G. You are confusing things. There is huge difference with people living legally in a country and do no harm (Jues) and imigrants that live illegally in Greece and commit many crimes. You are stucked with a name that doesn't refer to what they believe. Again, you are not living in Greece and not been able to wlk down-town Athens because you are afraid you might be killed from the different nationalities being gathered there, shelling illegal drugs and killing each other. It's very easy to judge when you are not present!!!!!

3:38AM PST on Feb 23, 2013

Panagiota F., dealing with crime within immigrants is one thing (and any sane party can deal with it), calling or decorating your 'party' with anything that resembles 'nazi' tells me more than I need to know. It's a concious choice, not an accident!!! Nazis sure 'loved' their country too, that's why they wanted to kill all the Jew and other ppl and explained why any other nationality was inferior to them. I don't have to live in Greece to realize the threat.

3:30AM PST on Feb 23, 2013

wow....they shoudl not even be allowed to become any legal group much less get a seat anywhere! that shoudl be banned! we already had 2 huge wars and ppl still didint learn anything from that????

Greece shoudl not receive any help from EU untill they rerwitre what the have to rewrite to make such ideas illegal!!!! I dont wnat to support nazis in any way!!!! And this coudl be leverage.

5:19PM PDT on May 24, 2012

It's a logical consequence of a crisis... it feeds extremes!

10:57AM PDT on May 14, 2012

noted

10:53AM PDT on May 8, 2012

Panagiota. You are of course correct & in a better position to know. Illegal immigrants & undesirables have "invaded" many European countries & many love to live off the native generosity & not integrate. The west will be destroyed by its own culture of kindness and acceptance. It cannot go on. They don't contribute so many are being carried on the backs of the few. The same is occurring in Canada & I wish they would severely limit immigration of so-called "refugees" who are thugs with doctored papers & live on welfare or by criminal activities. Nowadays "Nazi" is thrown around to mean anything extreme but extremism of some sort seems to be the necessary cure because the conditions are so extreme.

8:24AM PDT on May 8, 2012

And to all that accuse Greece of having to lend money to, just ask your Governments how much you gain out of the interest that you are lending us money and how much you have earned by the dropping of euro against dollar from your exports. Have you really lost or gain. People should learn and read more before accusing other countries, look at your defaults first!!!!

8:24AM PDT on May 8, 2012

And to all that accuse Greece of having to lend money to, just ask your Governments how much you gain out of the interest that you are lending us money and how much you have earned by the dropping of euro against dollar from your exports. Have you really lost or gain. People should learn and read more before accusing other countries, look at your defaults first!!!!

8:17AM PDT on May 8, 2012

Hi everyone. I am Greek and let me tell you first of all the term "Nazi" is wrong for that party. The only term for them is people who love their country and they are tired of having illegal people in Greece from other countries that live here without a job, dealing with drugs, steel and kill Greek people in order to rob them. The person or country that really wants them you are more than welcome to have them in your country. Without being here and be aware of a situation, you shouldn't really comment about it...

2:16PM PDT on May 7, 2012

This is nothing new. When conditions become extreme, people will do extreme things in an attempt to restore balance as ironic as that seems. Conditions of extreme unemployment, loss of homes & loss of dignity led to wars & disorder in the past & will again. Italy, France & Spain are also on the brink. The US is heading in the same direction as far as government corruption, rule by the wealthy few & diminuition of rights is concerned. That is why there is such extreme polarization arising there as well. You cannot perpetually degrade & cheat the citizenry or they will respond in one manner or another & there are always some convenient scape goats upon whom to lay the blame. The IMF & its corrupt bastards now rule the world, especially the European Union. It's good that GB at least kept its own currency. This is only the beginning of a populist uprising long overdue...for better or for worse.

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Kristina Chew Kristina Chew teaches and writes about ancient Greek and Latin and is Online Advocacy and Marketing... more
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