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live Golden Dawn will again enter parliament in the second elections, but with a lower percentage

10 May 2012 / 18:05:26  GRReporter
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Golden Dawn will enter parliament in the second round of early parliamentary elections too but with fewer votes. Some of the people, who voted for them in response to the situation in the country, will give their votes to other parties if there are early elections in June. This is the opinion of journalist Yiannis Souliotis of Kathimerini. He is acquainted at firsthand with the military manner of communication of the ultra right-wing party with journalists and "civilians". Souliotis was not allowed to attend the press conference of Nikos Mihaloliakos after the announcement of the results, because the newspaper for which he is working does not say good words about Golden Dawn. That same press conference, at which media representatives were ordered to stand to pay tribute to the leader Mihaloliakos upon his entry or leave if they did not want to obey. Here is what the Greek journalist told GRReporter:

 
In the days before election day, I had agreed with representatives of Golden Dawn for them to give me permission to visit the offices of the party on the day of the vote in order to cover the responses to the announcement of the results. Initially, I was refused, because the party headquarters were very small and there was not enough room for journalists. Subsequently, they rented a hall in a hotel near the offices of Golden Dawn in order to hold the press conference. At about half past eight in the evening, when the results of the first exit polls were known, Mihaloliakos and representatives of his personal guard walked on foot from the party headquarters to the hotel, where the meeting with journalists was supposed to take place. I followed them. Some journalists were already at the hotel. When we got to the hall, Mihaloliakos entered it but his guards stood in my way. There I found a representative of Golden Dawn, who recognized me from my contacts with them during the previous days. He helped me get through some of the guards, but I was not allowed in the hall, where the press conference took place. When it became clear that I was from Kathimerini, it was ordered that I not be allowed in the hall. Two guards came and in a rude way made me leave the hotel.

Yiannis Souliotis explained that the surprise is the high support Golden Dawn has received, not that it has entered parliament. 7% and 20 deputies in the National Assembly give a serious priority. Signals that their power was growing came two years ago, when the party gained significant support in the elections for local government. Mihaloliakos became a municipal representative then. Golden Dawn’s slogan is "Let's rid this country of the stench." A supporter of the party had said in an informal talk to a representative of GRReproter a year and a half ago, "If you do not leave us alone, we will make you disappear." This retort was intended for all non-Greeks who visit, work and live in the country. When we asked whether this applies to foreigners, he replied, "It applies to all." That particular supporter of Golden Dawn was a taxi driver by occupation.

After the "Stand to attention!" incident during the press conference at the end of the election day, a representative of Golden Dawn said with slight irony to Alpha TV, "We will drive journalists not only to stand up, but to do push ups if we must." According to them, Greek and foreign media present the profile of the party inaccurately and distortedly. They define themselves as national socialists, but do not want to be associated with Nazism. Although Golden Dawn’s signs have obvious similarities with the symbols of the Third Reich, they refuse to be labelled as a neo-Nazi or Nazi organization.

In mid-April this year, the journalist of Kathimerini Xenia Kounalaki devoted an article to the extreme political movement entitled "Banality of Evil." Kounalaki insisted that the media should cut Golden Dawn off from the public domain or undertake to more actively inform the people about the origins of their ideas in order to stir up anti-fascist memories in the Greeks. She said that the participation of a movement preaching racism and xenophobia in the parliamentary elections should be banned. The reply of Golden Dawn made a direct threat to Kounalaki with the words "Kommt Zeit, kommt Rat, kommt Attentat". On Greek websites, this is translated as, "The time is coming, the warning is coming, the assassination is coming." A free interpretation presented in the Greek media is "murder will come with the time." For the threats made towards her, Xenia Kounalaki told EurActiv, "I do not think that physical violence will be exercised on me and I'm not afraid of them. The fact that many of my friends and even the police have advised me to stop writing against them for some time would be the first victory for Golden Dawn. This is the purpose of their campaign to intimidate journalists. They want to make the media write about other things and leave them alone."

Tags: PoliticsGolden DawnNeo NazistsGreeceElections 2012
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