Friday 26 July 2013

The spectre of fascism is haunting Europe once more

More than 2,000 people queued on Wednesday to receive free food outside the fascists' headquarters in Athens after the neo-Nazi party was banned from conducting the hand-out in Attikis Square.

Athens Mayor Giorgos Kaminis said that he would not allow the neo-Nazis to use the central Square for its 'Greeks only' event so the venue was switched to the party's offices near Larissis Station. A queue of over 1,000 people snaked its way around the streets one hour before the food distribution was due to begin, and by 6:00 it had swelled to 2,000. Before the handing out of food began, their leader gave a speech declaring that the date was meant to coincide with the anniversary of democracy being restored to Greece after the collapse of the military junta - a dictatorship which the Nazis exalt. 'They are celebrating the so-called anniversary of democracy but in fact they are celebrating the arrival of klpetocracy, scandals and betrayal', he declared. He continued by saying that the food was not  'for blacks, or Pakistanis' and every time he mentioned a nationality or race of people, the supporters booed. From time to time, the black-shirted members of the Nazis would start shouting 'blood, honour', and the name of the party (that I do not want mentioned in this blog) and that would be followed by Nazi salutes.

At the end of this message of hate and division, the handing out of food started, and the people who were queuing had to produce their ID cards to prove that they were Greek.

The police stood by and at no point did they attempt to stop the proceedings.

Greece is being held hostage by a police force that increasingly appears beyond state control, and which has long forsaken its role of protecting citizens from the thugs they now side with. Meanwhile, the government's agenda is increasingly moving to the right, resembling the policies of the Weimar Republic and you can read more about this here .

In the middle of the severe economic, political and social crisis that is engulfing Greece, the neo-Nazi party and their message of hate is quickly gaining influence and power, emerging as the fastest-growing political force in the country.  They won 18 seats in Parliament in the June 2012 elections and had 14% of support in recent polls - a showing comparable to that of Hitler's  National Socialist German Workers' Party in 1930, three years before rising to power and setting the world on course for WWII. Antisemitism, xenophobia, hatred of immigrants, misogyny, homophobia, are at the heart of their vision of the world.


It is such an irony that this should be happening in the country that mounted such fierce resistance to fascism during WWII, during which more than 300,000 Greeks were killed.

Fascism is once again rearing its ugly head in Europe, and what are the EU leaders saying or doing about this? Nothing. Absolutely nothing. The only thing they seem to care about is that Greece repays its debts. Financial interests are the primary concern, with human rights, democracy and the rule of law totally sidelined. There is no recognition that the problem even exists. Could it be that European leaders realize how deeply implicated they are in the rise of this neo-Nazi group?

Never again, we used to say. We don't say it anymore.

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For more information on how desperate things are for sections of the Greek population go here

Source:    (the Greek version of this article is much more detailed)


  1. I cringe at anything anti-democratic, and find it especially disturbing that something like this should be on the rise in the birthplace of democracy. Athenian democracy is the basis for most forms of democracy extant in the world, today. Unfortunaltely, although called a "democracy", the United States is much more a representative republic regime. Occupy Chicago hopes to play a part in a necessary revolution that would bring a more genuine, real form of democracy to the country. It is going to be up to the people what they want to do--the people have the power, after all. Whether or not they decide to use it to their advantage is the real question. Most Americans are certainly fed up with the status quo. Occupy Chicago is trying to educate the polity and instigate a desperately needed change. Power to the People!!

    1. Thank you for your comment, Bob. What is happening in Greece is very worrying, and we just don't know how to move things in a different direction, or where all this will lead to. Very depressing times indeed.

      In relation to America, what is also of concern is its role and policies towards the rest of the world, drone strikes and Guatanamo, for instance. In that respect, Obama has been a real disappointment, and just like Greece, the lack of an alternative is the really worrying thing.

      All the best.

  2. The parallels are frightening

    1. They are indeed and it's all so depressing and frightening.

      You get such a different perspective being here - obviously. Seeing the behaviour and language of the neo-Nazis in Parliament for instance: they disrupt all the time, they really act like thugs, the only language they know is violence. As for the persecution of people of colour in the streets, that continues with impunity. They beat up a Pakistani man the other day and then threw him in a rubbish bin. You hear of stories like this every day. I am finding it all extremely unbearable.

    2. Having just been to Berlin and doing a little background reading (as you do) what you say is very much what happened in Germany. When we visited the Reichstag there was some information on its history and that told how the Nazis used to disrupt the Assembly - turning up in Nazi uniform, turning their backs on the assembly, and other things to disrupt and intimidate. History repeats itself - and as a wise man once said that can end in tragedy.

      What are the Left doing? Have they learned anything?

    3. Your message sent a chill down my spine. But hopefully, things will turn out differently here.

      What is the Left doing? An awful lot. There are very strong anti-fascist groups all over the place, in towns, workplaces, schools, etc. and they mobilise all the time. They go around on motorcycles trying to protect the streets; they organise marches all the time; they mobilise when the fascists have meetings. Only last week the fascists were going to have a meeting in Kalamata, a small town. People there kept saying 'why not', until one evening, one of the street sellers, a Pakistani, went to a coffee shop that is frequented by the fascists - they beat him up very badly, and unfortunately, no one intervened. But that changed the attitude of the people in the town. The anti-fascist demonstration on the night of the fascists' meeting was 15,000 strong - a very good result for a small town.

      During the summer there are quite a few anti-fascist festivals and we always go to the one in Goudi park: thousands and thousands of people turned up last year - I forget the exact number, but it was massive.

      Coincidentally, I am reading Dominion by CJ Samson at the moment: the scenario is that Winston Churchill did not become PM and Britain forged an alliance with Nazi Germany who are still fighting the war with Russia in 1952 - quite an interesting read.

    4. That is very encouraging.There has been very little about the situation in Greece in the UK lately. A few articles about the fascists, but I've not seen anything about the resistance to them. So, it's good to hear that the left isn't just sitting back. I can only admire theose people who have the courage to stand up to the thugs - and it's difficult, so I can understand why nobody felt they could intervene when the Pakistani man was assaulted.

      The book sounds interesting - an "alternative history". I have read a couple of novels where Germany has won the war - Fatherland by Robert Harris and The Man in the High Castle by Philip K Dick

    5. Oh! I don't know. I have been thinking a lot about what I would have done had I been there in that cafeneion: I am the biggest coward of them all, and extremely conscious of my personal safety, but is it really possible to just sit and watch someone being beaten up? And for such an awful reason? I am sure you are right, but I find the whole idea of it really difficult and puzzling. I can't get it out of my head.

      I have not read the two novels you mention. I am reading Dominion because I like Samson's work.