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Mazower Warns Greece On Golden Dawn

MazowerOne of the premier writers of Greek history, Britain’s Mark Mazower, told an audience at the American College of Greece that the government is seriously underestimating the threat of the neo-Nazi Golden party becoming a mainstream political force.

Golden Dawn, which got just 0.29 percent of the vote in 2009, won 6.7 percent and 18 seats in Parliament in last year’s elections and has risen as high as 14 percent in some polls, and now ranks third among Greece’s political parties in voter support.

The party’s platform is vehemently anti-immigrant and its members have been accused of beating immigrants, and it also espouses anti-Semitic, jingoistic and ultra-religious ideas, including prosecution of people accused of blasphemy against God or the Greek Orthodox Church.

Speaking during a lecture on Greece’s political extremes, Mazower drew parallels between the Greek far right party and the Nationalist Socialist (Nazi) party of the 1930′s, the newspaper Kathimerini reported. “There is commonality of approach,” he said of the two parties stressing their emphasis on biological racism and violent street tactics that sets them apart from other European nationalist movements.

Golden Dawn officials vehemently deny any Nazi affiliation saying they are Greek nationalists and that they have nothing to do with Hitler or Mussolini although the have displayed Mein Kampf in their headquarters, use an ancient Greek Swastika-like meander as a symbol and give the Heil Hitler salute.

“Any right-wing party worth its salt is keen to stress its nationalist credentials,” said the 55-year-old Mazower, an expert on Greece and the Balkans who teaches history at Columbia University in New York. Among his acclaimed works is Inside Hiter’s Greece, a harrowing story of the brutal Nazi occupation so fiercely resisted by many Greeks, but whose ideas have now been latched onto by Golden Dawn.

Greece’s brutal financial crisis has catapulted Golden Dawn, for years at the fringes of domestic politics, into the spotlight. A recent opinion poll put the party’s support at 11.5 percent, compared to the 7 percent that it garnered in June’s election. This puts the party, which currently holds 18 seats in the 300-member House, in third place behind conservative coalition leader New Democracy and leftist opposition SYRIZA.

Reports of deadly attacks against immigrants by alleged supporters of Golden Dawn and its open endorsement of the country’s 1967-1974 oppressive military dictatorship have not dented its appeal among voters in a country where national self-understanding has to a significant degree been shaped by the fight against the Nazis and opposition to the junta, Kathimerini noted.

Mazower, who has written a number of books on 20th century Greek and European history, said Greece’s political class has failed to assume culpability or accept even a symbolic share of the burden that the population has had to shoulder as a result of the painful bailout agreements. Nevertheless, he said, Greeks must not turn their back on the democratic legacy of the post-1974 era.

“People need to defend the achievement of the metapolitefsi,” he said of what is widely regarded as the longest period of democratic stability in the country’s modern history. However, he said, they should try to remedy the system’s failings starting with “the credibility of the political class.”

Mazower was critical of the Greek left that he said “never made a mental break from the image of revolution,” but didn’t equate  far right violence with that of the far left and anarchists, who have taken to planting bombs and robbing banks.  “Some say all forms of lawlessness are equally dangerous. I disagree,” said Mazower. He said leftists movements haven’t threatened Greek democracy in the way Golden Dawn has.

He said historical attempts to underline the “fundamental kinship” between fascism and communism – bringing them both under the label of “totalitatarianism” – are flawed. “The totalitarianism thesis has been abandoned for very good reason,” he said criticizing recent attempts by conservative politicians in Greece to revive the debate in a bid to score political points against SYRIZA. He didn’t fault SYRIZA despite its implicit support of violence.

Instead of going after anarchist-run squats in Athens he said are of little political importance, he said the ruling New Democracy Conservatives of Prime Minister Antonis Samaras should go after Golden Dawn, Mazower said referring to recent police raids on several abandoned buildings in Athens. “Unfortunately the Greek state does not seem to realize the urgency of the situation,” he said. Samaras has not denounced Golden Dawn’s actions and has taken to copying their anti-immigrant stance in what critics said was a transparent attempt to gain their voters.

 

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  • Nick

    All irrational, paranoid, brainwashed comments to follow.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/OYG7TRHWU2AIDSI4M3B2PE2BHA Paul Johnston PhD

    Golden Dawn will soon be PASOK and ND’s worst nightmare!

  • Alex

    ““Some say all forms of lawlessness are equally dangerous. I disagree,”
    said Mazower. He said leftists movements haven’t threatened Greek
    democracy in the way Golden Dawn has.”

    What a bunch of crap. Far more violence has been done by leftists in Greece than the right. Mazower is self-serving anti-Greek leftist troll. Aside from calling the FYROM “macedonians” he basically justified leftist violence in his rant.

    “Samaras has not denounced Golden Dawn’s actions and has taken to copying their anti-immigrant stance”
    Perhaps leftist Andy doesn’t know the difference between an ILLEGAL and IMMIGRANT? Keep up the great work betraying Greece for you leftist politics comrade andy.
     

  • Alex

    Day-in day day-out you attack our coaltion government and now you are concerned about it. Funny. Pure manipulator.

  • Alex

    “give the Heil Hitler salute.”

    I don’t agree with this imaginary that GD uses because I know leftists will manipulate every chance they can to analogize someone with fascism. Andy since you claim to be Greek. perhaps you should open a history book on Metaxas government before spreading nonsense?  You do know his followers useds that salute right and that his government FOUGHT NAZIS right? (we still celebrate Oxi day)

    http://www.symigreece.com/mysymi/blogs/Will/763.htm

    Perhaps if you wrote about the current anti-Greek delirium among some foreigners, IMRO, and some leftist Greeks, a Greek patriot could take your rants seriously.

  • Alex

    As far as I can tell leftists like Andy are far more interested in writing about his dear illegals anb slandering anyone that isn’t a leftist by insinuating they “fascist”….. rather than protecting our homeland from Skopians Nazis trying to exterminate the Greek people. Truly bizarre. With Greek “patriots” like this no wonder Greece is such a mess.

    Out of curiosity Andy of the USA, do your fellow Americans at US military funded setimes.com pay you to write your anti-Greek articles there?  Do you ever ask your  clearly “principled” fellow Americans why they reference the Skopians “Macedonians” while pretending not notice their identity change into ancient Macedonians…. while pretending not to know the US itself used to claim this about IMRO?

    “The Department
    has noted with considerable apprehension increasing propaganda rumors and
    semi-official statements in favor of an autonomous Macedonia, emanating
    principally from Bulgaria, but also from Yugoslav Partisan and other sources,
    with the implication that Greek territory would be included in the projected
    state. This (US) Government considers talk of Macedonian “nation”,
    Macedonian “Fatherland”, or Macedonia “national
    consciousness” to be unjustified demagoguery representing no ethnic nor
    political reality, and sees in its present revival a possible cloak for
    aggressive intentions against Greece.”

     
    U.S State
    Department Foreign Relations Vol. VIII Washington D.C. Circular Airgram -
    868.014/26 Dec. 1944)

  • Alex

    As far as I can tell leftists like Andy are far more interested in writing about his dear illegals anb slandering anyone that isn’t a leftist by insinuating they “fascist”….. rather than protecting our homeland from Skopians Nazis trying to exterminate the Greek people. Truly bizarre. With Greek “patriots” like this no wonder Greece is such a mess.

    Out of curiosity Andy of the USA, do your fellow Americans at US military funded setimes.com pay you to write your anti-Greek articles there?  Do you ever ask your  clearly “principled” fellow Americans why they reference the Skopians “Macedonians” while pretending not notice their identity change into ancient Macedonians…. while pretending not to know the US itself used to claim this about IMRO?

    “The Department
    has noted with considerable apprehension increasing propaganda rumors and
    semi-official statements in favor of an autonomous Macedonia, emanating
    principally from Bulgaria, but also from Yugoslav Partisan and other sources,
    with the implication that Greek territory would be included in the projected
    state. This (US) Government considers talk of Macedonian “nation”,
    Macedonian “Fatherland”, or Macedonia “national
    consciousness” to be unjustified demagoguery representing no ethnic nor
    political reality, and sees in its present revival a possible cloak for
    aggressive intentions against Greece.”

     
    U.S State
    Department Foreign Relations Vol. VIII Washington D.C. Circular Airgram -
    868.014/26 Dec. 1944)

  • Cypriot

    Rather have XA than SYRIZA to be honest…

  • Alex

     Hey Andy from the USA… where are you articles analogizing your President Obama as “fascist” for deporting illegals in record numbers?

    “President Barack Obama, who credits his re-election largely to the support of Latinos and other minorities, has deported a record number of immigrants for the fourth straight year.”

    http://www.examiner.com/article/obama-deports-record-number-of-immigrants

  • Alex

     I would rather have neither but if push came to shove I would support XA over communists too. This whole situation reminds me of the Greek civil war where  communist scum eventually talked themselves into murdered other Greeks for their ridiculous system and IMRO.

  • Striker333

    Even though I disagree with their Stance on nationalizing banks and utilities, because we need privatization. Golden Dawn is the only party fighting to keep Greece Greek. This country is not the USA land of immigrants. Its Greece the land of Hellenes. It belong to us and no other. We have the right to keep her for ourselves. And that goes for every other European country. Why is it Africa for the Africans, Asia for the Asians. etc etc but when it comes White countries “Oh open the doors and let the whole damn Third World in”. Its a double standard and major hypocricy.

  • Tzak12345678

    “Instead of going after anarchist-run squats in Athens he said are of little political importance, he said the ruling New Democracy Conservatives of Prime Minister Antonis Samaras should go after Golden Dawn”

    WHHHHAAAAAAAAAAATTTTTT????????

    The anarchist killed 3 bank employees including a pregnant woman while they where working and this fellow believes that anarchists are of no significance.

    He also fails to criticise SYRIZA who refuse to denounce violence.

    Upsets me that his fellow is allowed to speak to uni students. No wonder our universities are breeding grounds for communists/anarchists who see murder as a means to achieve their goals.

    We need to unite under our democratclly elected governemnt to persever through this crisis. They may not be perfect but the alternative is cultural and financial oblivion.

  • Tzak12345678

    Mazower stated “they should try to remedy the system’s failings starting with “the credibility of the political class.”

    Agreed. We already have a system to perfomr this remedy. It is called a democratic election..we as Greeks unfortnatley made the collective decision to sopport corrupt governments and incompetence in the polls as long as we received the handouts.

    I believe Mazower is a danger to Greece from a cultural perspective with implicit support of left leaing orginisations who their loyalty is to an idelogy and not to their country.

  • Alex

    ” who their loyalty is to an idelogy and not to their country.”

    You nailed it. This is one (of the many) ideological problems with communism. The loyalty is to the party ideology not your neighbour or fellow Greek. This goes against the natural order of human communities. People that want to be part of community seek their communities interests. Communist on the other hand go to absurd lengths to do the opposite. They are so busy being proud “anti-nationalists” they will virtually always support some foreign  community over their own. (imo some to the point of racism).

     The main exception is when it comes to taking money from other people in their community. At those moments they become pseudo-patriots that want to “share”… other people’s money!

  • Alex

    Extremists are always quick to want to ban opposing parties. Syriza is particular adept at this. They analogize every other party in Greece (that isn’t communists) as “fascists”.

    Puttting aside the seriousness of their behavior, its actually somewhat funny when  far leftist extremists trying to ban others parties lecture about extremism.

  • http://twitter.com/ChrisArdern1 Christopher

    How about we warn Greece about the real problem? The EU and the Euro that caused all of this in the first place, that would be a start. How about we attack the EU head on and destroy it before it turns Europe into the Balkan states? That would be the wisest choice. The EU is NOT democratic, it does NOT give out referendums therefore it has no democracy and they like it that way.

  • http://twitter.com/ChrisArdern1 Christopher

    Listen, it’s not only the Greeks, the western nations are with a majority of sheeple that do absolutely nothing and get drawn in by fancy fireworks and propaganda. “The Euro will bring stability!!” my arse. Don’t feel bad, there’s people not from Greece who still respect the people, your government, like all others, are making you look bad.