According to recent polls, the far right party Golden Dawn, whose members make Hitler greetings and beat dark-coloured inhabitants of downtown Athens, will be able to enter the Greek Parliament. GRReporter decided to contact one of the persons who will help this scenario to take place to the horror of Greek society.
That the majority will vote for Golden Dawn for the first time is nothing new. But finding out that the voters of, until yesterday, the two major parties, are now turning to the most extreme far-right just to punish the current political system is overwhelming.
Vassilis is an educated man, aged 46. He is not married and has a successful business. He is determined to vote for Golden Dawn and has even expressed his belief that the party will be able to enter parliament after winning more than 4.5 percent of the vote.
"My personal opinion is that a large number of the people who will vote for Golden Dawn this Sunday, like me, are worried, embarrassed and betrayed. We do not believe in what this party expresses. We were forced to end up in this situation. There is nothing to expect from the people who have been governing us all these years. That is why I think the majority of people are turning to extreme parties, one of which is Golden Dawn. We are neither racists nor neo-Nazis, nor monarchists, nor supporters of the military junta. I think we are nothing more than angry and betrayed people. I know that Golden Dawn will not solve our financial problems, nor is it expected to govern. This is just another trend that I want to support because I want something extreme to emerge."
Asked how Golden Dawn could help improve the situation in Greece, Vassilis replied he does not anyway expect it to improve things significantly. "What I expect is that the members of Golden Dawn will literally invade parliament and be the voice of extremity. I am for this extreme voice. I do not want this para-democracy that has been existing in parliament and society all these years. Now, I want something extreme to "trouble the waters" and I do not believe that there is another party willing to finally do it."
According to him, shaking the public will not take place only in parliament. "I think part of it will be expressed through violence and many people will approve of it. This violence will take the form of an avalanche and the first to suffer will certainly be illegal immigrants." Vassilis said that this is already happening. "Members of Golden Dawn are being used by owners of shops, bars, residents of neighbourhoods who want to expel the illegal immigrants from there."
Why is it necessary to enter the parliament once this is already happening? "I think this is a Europe-wide trend that will surely continue to spread over the next four years at least. This will be the far right side of Europe. I think it should gradually begin appearing on the surface, because I do not like the present "democracy" that wants us to be the same. I want these people to return to their countries. I do not want anything bad to happen to them, but I see that they are in our way. Personally, I have problems in my work due to the illegal immigrants and in any case, neither PASOK, nor New Democracy has done anything to help me."
Vassilis does not believe that any of the other parties could provide him with a more creative way to express his discontent. "Over the years, politicians have proven that they care only about their image, pocket, acquaintances and their party."
He rejected the claims that the majority of Golden Dawn members are low educated. "The people I know are educated. They do not participate in actions in the street. They have ideas that have been forming in them over time, as is happening with me now. Everyone has the right to look at things from their own angle. I would like to see the reactions when Golden Dawn manages to enter parliament. Because it will certainly do so. This is the reason for all these attacks that its members are neo-Nazi, supporters of the junta or the King, etc. Golden Dawn does not express me but it is the only party that inspires me."
Vassilis is convinced that the presence of that particular party in parliament will not help to solve the economic problems of Greece in any way. "The only benefit from its presence in parliament is that it can make other parties that will participate in the future coalition government think about some things. Its role will not be significant at this time. It will just show the major parties that people are starting to react not only in their way of thinking, but also in their actions."
But if Vassilis represents the intelligent part of the electorate of Golden Dawn, many of the others are people who do not give much of a thought about which ballot paper they will choose on Sunday. According to various sources, young members of the neo-Nazi organization, as many commentators determine it, accompany lonely old women to the bank to receive their pensions or help them with the purchases and the payment of monthly bills. To this "contingent" must be added hundreds of inhabitants of downtown Athens dissatisfied with the increased crime. "I will vote for Golden Dawn, because it will clear illegal immigrants from Greece. This at least is something. There is nothing to expect from the politicians of New Democracy and PASOK, who stole the country and the only thing they know is how to cut wages and pensions, while preserving their privileges," said frankly Yiannis from the Athens suburb of Aharnes, whose home is a few hundred metres away from the detention centre for illegal immigrants.