According to research conducted by the sociology department of Athens’s Panteion University, the Greek youth who voted for Golden Dawn in the 2012 elections consider themselves nationalists. In general, they espouse their love for Greece above everything, loathe the labels “fascist” and “neonazi,” and insist on being called patriots.
Head researcher Alexandra Koroneou said that, “the widely used argument that young people turn to Golden Dawn because they are poor is not accurate. The survey shows that there are other factors that make Golden Dawn appeal to some young people.”
Supporters of Golden Dawn believe that it is the only political party that operates outside the corrupt political system. Speaking to Eleftherotypia newspaper, Koroneou quotes a young female Golden Dawn supporter: “Politicians are only interested in their well-being, their prosperity; they are the ones responsible for our suffering because the only thing they care about is votes and money.”
Young Golden Dawn voters also believe that left-wing parties – SYRIZA in particular – are in on the political corruption. They consider left-wing parties “hypocritical” because they pretend that they are not part of the political system. They also disagree with the Left on the issue of illegal immigration.
Very few young Golden Dawn voters believe that second and third generation migrants can be considered Greek citizens. Young Golden Dawn voters also believe that migrants take jobs that should belong to Greeks.
The research was conducted as part of a European Union program called MYPLACE (Memory, Youth, Political Legacy And Civic Engagement). Fourteen European countries participated in the program.