Austerity and its effects on Greek society have caused many disaffected youth to seek political solutions to their social ills, a trend that Greece’s far-right Golden Dawn party is exploiting to the worry of many progressive Greeks.
Armed with a nationalistic and anti-immigrant message, the Golden Dawn promises unemployed youth an outlet for their frustrations and anxieties about Greece’s future but it also troubles many of Greece’s traditional political establishment because the Golden Dawn is often labeled a pro-Hitler, fascist group.
The Independent recently interviewed Greek youth and asked them questions about their political beliefs and what they want out of a future Greece. What The Independent found was that, typically, the Golden Dawn is quick to dissociate itself from Nazism or things related to Hitler and instead plays up its nationalist credentials, appropriating ancient Greek symbols as part of a new movement.
The Golden Dawn is virulently anti-immigrant and blames much of Greece’s ills on immigrants in the country. It or its supporters are linked to attacks against immigrant shop owners and residents in Greece and the Golden Dawn often engages in such rhetoric in public. Golden Dawn mainly recruits through grassroots efforts and appears to be increasingly targeting the youth of Greece who have watched their quality of life erode since government imposed austerity began.
While the Golden Dawn was an obscure party prior to the dissolution of the Greek economy, it recently polled 7% in the last Greek elections and it is estimated it would come in third if elections were held today.