This Machine Helps Fascists: Split on Greek Left Aids Nationalist Golden Dawn Party
“Adolf is coming,” warned Liana Kanelli, Greek communist and Member of Parliament, during our July interview in her office in the parliament building in central Athens.
Were there no video of her being assaulted by a member of the Greek neo-fascist party Golden Dawn on a TV news program in June, Kanelli would have remained unknown in the United States. But the feisty lawmaker’s tussle showed the world how the Greek economic crisis—exacerbated by Northern European demands for more unpopular austerity measures—is opening a Pandora’s box of extremism.
Kanelli, a former journalist, is the contradictory face of the Greek Communist Party (KKE), a staunchly Stalinist group that is Greece’s oldest active party and survived underground for decades after World War II. She speaks for the party, notorious for its top-down structure and doctrinal obedience, yet is not herself a member. Though an atheist, she wears the symbol of Greek Orthodoxy on her neck.
But her political message is clear: the austerity measures imposed by the Troika (the European Union, the European Central Bank, and the International Monetary Fund) and German Chancellor Angela Merkel amount to colonization. The forced wage and pension cuts, the privatization of public services, and the sale of public assets are letting foreign profiteers gobble up the nation’s resources at the people’s expense.
And now Kannelli sees the disturbing rise of fascism as furthering the goals of the EU’s conquest of Greece. “Golden Dawn is a very useful tool for the capitalist crisis,” she said. “They can be used for the dark part of the job.”