The rise of Greece’s Golden Dawn party

Austerity measures are biting harder than ever in Greece, with people losing their homes and jobs and becoming more and more desperate.


And they’re turning in increasing numbers to the far right Golden Dawn party, which lays the country’s troubles firmly at the feet of immigrants and Greek politicians.

On tonight’s Dateline at 9.30pm on SBS ONE, Evan Williams reports from Athens on the party’s rise to become the third biggest force in Greek politics, but also the stark similarities with the German Nazis.

As well as winning seats in parliament, they’ve also started handing out food aid and donating blood… but only to people who can prove their Greek citizenship.

“The life of the Greeks has changed drastically,” Golden Dawn deputy commander Ilias Panagiotaros tells Dateline. “More than two million illegal immigrants in a population of ten million people – which is an enormous number – they literally do whatever they want and they remain unpunished.

But what some find more disturbing than the rhetoric is their vigilante action on the streets… Evan looks at evidence of supporters taking the law into their own hands to attack and persecute immigrants.

Golden Dawn members have even entered hospitals demanding that staff prove they’re Greek.

“I am afraid to stay in Greece,” says migrant Patrice, who fled civil war in Congo and was victim of a brutal attack in Greece. “The next time maybe they can kill me.”

Now, the party says its international support is growing and it even wants to open an office in Australia, even though the party’s already been told it won’t receive a warm welcome.

“We could tell [Julia Gillard] to look back a couple hundred years to see what they did to the Aboriginals, and not lecturing us about racism and rights,” says Panagiotaros. “You’ll see us in Australia – summer or a bit later, but you’ll definitely find us there.”

See Dateline’s insight into the rise of the far right tonight at 9.30pm on SBS ONE, and read more now on the Dateline website.

LISTEN: The rise of Golden Dawn in Greece

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