• It seems certain at this point that Golden Dawn will enter Parliament
By Pete Papaherakles
Golden Dawn, Greece’s most-recognized populist political party has the establishment shaking in their pants in fear of a huge victory in the upcoming May 6 elections. Their fast-rising popularity due to a strong patriotic message along with crippling economic woes and massive illegal immigration, has seen the party that was only a grass roots nationalist movement with only a 0.29% showing in the 2009 election explode to 5.5% in official polls; just four months ago they were only at 1.5%. Many feel that their real numbers are much higher.
Although the preferred strategy by the media had been to completely ignore them, their popularity is growing so rapidly that the current plan is to constantly defame and slander them in order to scare the masses from joining their ranks. As is done throughout Europe and the West in general, nationalist groups are routinely portrayed as fascists, Nazis and hooligans. The ultimate big gun of defamation is to compare the party leader to Adolph Hitler. Browbeaten since WW II with horror stories of a monstrous Hitler and his alleged “holocaust” of the Jews, the people are conditioned into a Pavlovian knee-jerk reaction of repulsion to anyone portrayed as a Nazi.
The roughly two million illegal aliens that entered Greece over the past two decades, mostly in the last five years, are portrayed by the media as innocent refugees, although Greece’s crime rate, once one of the lowest in the world, has skyrocketed in recent years exclusively due to illegal immigration. Golden Dawn’s support of the victimized Greeks and their insistence that the borders be closed and illegals deported has been portrayed as fascist and cruel by the mainstream media even as Greece’s 22% unemployment rate is twice the Eurozone average and bare survival is becoming impossible for Greeks. In fact, Golden Dawn alone has provided food and assistance to the neediest Greeks, completely at their own expense.
Even though Golden Dawn’s policies strictly prohibit violence and seek only political solutions to these problems, they are consistently portrayed as violent thugs and are routinely provoked into situations of self-defense by agents provocateurs in order to incriminate them as Nazi thugs in the mainstream media.
Not only are the Greek media and rival political parties pursuing this mudslinging, but as Golden Dawn’s popularity is surging, the international media is joining in this smear. Recently, both The New York Times and Bloomberg News have written derogatory articles about them with constant references to Hitler and “goose-stepping Nazis.” Their ancient Greek symbol of the meander design has been called a “disentangled swastika” by Bloomberg. The leader of Golden Dawn, Nikos Michaloliakos has been accused of being a Nazi for giving a raised arm salute in the Athenian Council in protest to being called a fascist by an adversary. That image has been played over and over again in the mainstream media.
On May 1, in an exclusive AMERICAN FREE PRESS interview with Michaloliakos, this writer asked him about the allegations of Nazi salutes and swastika flags.
“First of all we don’t have any official salute of any sort. The so-called Heil Hitler! salute did not originate with the Nazis anyway. The Romans used it and the ancient Greeks used it before them. The same applies to our flag. Those that see a swastika on our flags need to have their eyes checked because what we have is the traditional Greek key design which everyone recognizes as Greek and is on so many ancient Greek artifacts. The swastika, by the way, also did not originate with the Nazis and is again found on many ancient Greek designs as well as Egyptian, Hindu and even Chinese. It was a symbol of the life force that emanated from the Sun. All this is an attempt to scare people with Nazi ghosts.”
Michaloliakos is optimistic about the upcoming elections. Asked to predict what type of a vote share Golden Dawn will get, he replied, ” I feel pretty confident that although the polls give us 5 ½%, we will get at least 8%.”
In Greece’s Parliamentary system it is not winner takes all as it is in the U.S. two-party system. Once a candidate reaches 3% of the vote, the minimum needed to enter Parliament, they are awarded their percentage share of the 300 Parliament seats.
“If we get 8% of the vote, we will have about twenty Golden Dawn members in Parliament,” said Michaloliakos.
That is a huge victory considering that they have never had a single representative there before. Also, unlike the U.S. two-party system, there are currently 16 parties competing in the Greek election. Half will probably enter Parliament with the top ones forming a ruling coalition but all of them having some influence.
What issues will Golden Dawn promote?
“Our main priorities are to expel all illegal immigrants, to repudiate the illegal debt and to massively increase productivity in order to get the Greek economy moving again. Also, we need to restore our national values and bring back justice. Criminals have to be punished.”
Interestingly, Michaloliakos did not feel that exiting the Eurozone and returning to the drachma was the right move at this time.
“First we need to increase productivity and then we can talk about returning to the drachma” he said. “Without a productive economy it would be a mistake to return to the drachma.”
One thing is certain. Golden Dawn will be in the Parliament and it will be a strong force for nationalist Greek interests as opposed to internationalist banking interests.
Pete Papaherakles is a writer and political cartoonist for AFP and is also AFP’s outreach director. Pete is interested in getting AFP writers and editors on the podium at patriotic events. Call him at 202-544-5977 if you know of an event you think AFP should attend.