Imagine a United States where unemployment is 24 percent – 55 percent for those under 25 – where wages have been cut and pensions and Social Security slashed 30 percent, property and income taxes doubled, gasoline at $10 a gallon, food prices rising, health insurance isn’t accepted by doctors and drug stores, politicians and the rich are evading taxes and eating caviar while you’re down to pink slime and cheap hot dogs. Now you know what many Greeks are going through in a crushing economic crisis and the desperation they feel.
Now imagine a political party comes along that attacks mainstream leaders who have created a catastrophe, promises to rid America of Hispanics, Asians, and other immigrants it blames on rising crime, hands out food to the poor – whites only – and sets up blood banks – for whites only – and says it will restore law and order and give the country back to you.
That’s how the neo-Nazi Golden Dawn party, populated by certifiable crazies, including uneducated and unemployed thugs who resemble nothing so much as soccer hooligans and have a collective single-digit IQ, has risen in Greece, on a platform to either kick out or beat up all illegal immigrants and have targeted gays and people with disabilities.
They’ve gained support quickly because Greece is inundated with immigrants who want to seek asylum or use the country as a stepping-stone to other European Union countries and has gotten little help from the EU – or from its own government – until Prime Minister Antonis Samaras, smelling the popularity of bashing immigrants, said he too wanted them out of the country.
A recent government roundup of anyone who doesn’t look Greek netted 20,929 immigrants in a police dragnet through August, but after checking papers, it turned out only 2,446 of them were illegal, about 11 percent, although there could be hundreds of thousands who’ve gone into hiding since the sweep was publicized.
But it played right into the hands of Golden Dawn, which has a dark vision, and if it ever had enough influence it would put a shroud over the plutocratic oligarchy that is Greece. Instead of rounding up immigrants, the government should have corralled tax cheats who owe the country $70 billion and who hide their money in secret Swiss and offshore bank accounts because they’re a bigger threat.
Long regarded as a joke and lunatic fringe party led by a Neanderthal army reject and two-time felon, Golden Dawn got only 0.29 percent of the vote in the 2009 elections won by the PASOK Socialists with 44 percent. But now – because of the unrelenting failure of PASOK and the New Democracy Conservatives – has risen to 10-12 percent in polls. The party earned 18 seats in the Parliament in the June 17 elections with 6.97 percent and all you have to do is look at the mugs of its members sitting there glowering to fear what could happen to Greece if they ever gain power. Imagine the KKK surpassing the Democrats or Republicans in the United States.
KICK ‘EM WHEN THEY’RE UP
Golden Dawn has overtaken PASOK, which has fallen to 8 percent and is disappearing into the dust bin of history, while Samaras’ New Democracy is bleeding support because of his unconditional surrender to international lenders who want more pay cuts, tax hikes and slashed pensions aimed primarily at workers, pensioners and the poor. The third partner in the Three Stooges coalition, the tiny Democratic Left, whose leader Fotis Kouvelis has betrayed his principles, is at about 4 percent, barely above the 3 percent threshold needed to gain seats in Parliament for the next elections that are coming soon to a ballot box near you once the Samaras government fails.
When it does, Black Dawn will be positioned to gain even more seats and rattle its sabres even louder; threatening the legacy of all Greeks who fought Nazis tooth-and-nail in World War II and had always resisted tyrannical leaders until now. Black Dawn is just a collection of bullies in black shirts and so cowardly they gang up on immigrants because they couldn’t face them one-on-one. Illegal immigrants should be identified and deported, but not beaten.
But it’s the fault of New Democracy and PASOK that the black shirts are where they are today because politics abhors a vacuum and the Nazis stepped in when the failed government made people desperate enough to turn to an extremist hate group.
While Samaras has, by his silence, given implicit support to Black Dawn – as have the police, some 50 percent of whom were said to have voted for the party and like delegating authority to vigilantes on motorcycles – it’s been left to Public Order Minister Nikos Dendias to take them on, and he correctly identified them as wannabe-“storm troopers.” After some party members were seen leading assaults on immigrants, he yanked their police bodyguards – one of whom has been charged with aiding in the attacks so you know where the police sentiment lies.
U VILL DO VUT I SAY!
It’s a little hard to understand him when he speaks in between his shouting and spitting on on himself, but Black Dawn leader Nikos “Little Hitler” Michaloliakos, the David Duke of Greece, has threatened to unleash his forces on the country he professes to love, and which he serves so badly. That’s what happens to these little men with Napoleon complexes when they get any power, and it’s Samaras and PASOK leader Evangelos Venizelos who gave it to him.
Members of Parliament have immunity for all crimes, including treason it now seems, but so detested are these reprehensible cretins that other lawmakers are ready to strip them of that protection, even as Little Hitler said he cared little for the Parliament in which he sits and would love to overthrow with a putsch if he could, and follow that with a purge of immigrants, intellectuals, imagined enemies, and anybody who couldn’t prove they were descended from King Leonidas or Pericles.
All you need to know about Black Dawn is who they admire: Hitler, whose venom-filled Mein Kampf is on display at party headquarters, and the Greek dictator Ioannis Metaxas, whose statue they found discarded on the island of Kefalonia, where he was raised. All that saved any shred of Metaxas’ legacy was his famous “Oxi” to Mussolini, giving his fellow dictator the big “No” when asked to surrender, which is precisely what Samaras should say to Michaloliakos.
If that doesn’t happen, we can always fall back on Woody Allen’s line about how to deal with these KKK-types, that “a brick through the window is better than a harshly-worded letter.” Or column.