Rise of Neo-Nazi Golden Dawn Party Leads to Spate of Immigrant Attacks in Greece
The neo-Nazi group has been blamed for numerous violent incidents since the May 6 vote, when it stunned the whole of Europe by winning 6.97 per cent of the vote and 20 seats in parliament amid deep anxiety about recession, unemployment and high levels of illegal immigration.
Polling data seen by the Daily Telegraph shows that Golden Dawn is on course to perform just as well or even better in the new election, which was called after the first failed to produce a government.
Immigrants groups have said that attacks in Athens have risen in recent weeks, backing up an increase in anecdotal reporting, and fear that once established in parliament the party’s black t-shirted vigilantes will feel further emboldened in their campaign of intimidation.
Reza Gholami, the head of association for Afghan immigrants, said: “There are daily beatings. Most incidents are not known because immigrants do not notify authorities. They are afraid for their lives or don’t have legal papers or lack the funds to pay the cost of a law suit.”
There have been accusations of police bias after it emerged that 50 percent of Athens police officers voted for Golden Dawn. Suspected perpetrators are often arrested but not charged.