Thursday, June 14, 2012

The rise of Golden Dawn is a sign of Greek lawlessness

by Thodoris Georgakopoulos


June 14, 2012

Earlier this week, Ilias Panagiotaros, a heavy-set Golden Dawn MP said these words during a rally in Athens:

"If Chrysi Avgi [Golden Dawn] gets into parliament [as polls predict], it will carry out raids on hospitals and kindergartens and it will throw immigrants and their children out on the street so that Greeks can take their place." He went on to threaten fellow MPs with violence if they voice opinions on issues of national interest that his party does not agree to.

There are laws in Greece that prohibit hate speech and the threat of force against people or groups of people, of course. But, as usually happens here, the objectionable legality of this outburst was ignored.

It was the latest in a series of grim incidents initiated by Golden Dawn members, a group of mostly young men that combine hate speech with a swagger familiar among nightclub bouncers. As the country faces the worst crisis of its modern history, political discourse has sunk to their level. How did this happen?


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