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Greece: Many police voted for the Golden Dawn party, led by a Holocaust denier

Athens, Greece, 17.5.2012 18:52, (ROMEA)
Greek neo-Nazis in action. Nikos Michaloliákos is pictured in front on the far left, walking forward in a blue shirt.

Nikos Michaloliákos, the leader of the Greek party Golden Dawn, now seated in parliament, believes the information about the gas chambers and ovens of the Nazi concentration camps is all lies. He denied the Holocaust last Sunday during an interview with the Greek private television station Mega. On Tuesday, the Greek Government sharply condemned his statement. Many police officers reportedly voted for Golden Dawn in the last parliamentary elections.

"There were no gas chambers or ovens, I consider that a lie. Auschwitz, what Auschwitz? I wasn't there, what happened there? Were you there?" asked the leader of the neo-Nazi movement which just made it into the Greek parliament for the first time in 40 years.

A Greek Government spokesperson in Athens called Michaloliákos' statements an "enormous insult to the memory of the victims" and an "attempt to revise" the historical events which victimized "tens of thousands of Greek Jews". News server Česká pozice reports that Golden Dawn's electoral slogan, aimed against immigrants, was "We must rid the country of filth". The party's logo includes a swastika-like symbol and the Nazi salute is given at its rallies.

The neo-Nazis' campaign recipe for addressing the country's economic crisis was simple: Deport hundreds of thousands of immigrants and install landmines on the borders with the neighboring states from which immigrants most often arrive. "We want to drive out all illegal immigrants. We want to get their stench out of here," Reuters quoted party representative Frangiskos Porichis as saying.

"The hour of fear for the traitors of the homeland has arrived," Michaloliakos thundered at the party's press conference. The online news server of the daily To Vima reported that he had several journalists ejected from the conference because they did not stand up when he entered the room. Agence-France Presse reported him as ominously saying, "This is just the beginning" to the foreign correspondents whom his movement has charged with spreading lies about his ideology.

News server Česká pozice also mentions a disturbing analysis published by the Greek daily To Vima, which has also been reported on by the Russian news server RT.com. According to To Vima, a large portion of the votes cast for the neo-Nazis in the 6 May elections came from police officers.

Journalists researched the electoral results in several districts of Athens, where 5 000 active-duty police officers are registered to vote. In some districts, Golden Dawn won a surprising 19 - 24 % of the vote. The newspaper reports that in the 11 districts (numbers 806 - 816) near the Ellas police station, the party even received a majority of votes! In four districts near the MAT police station the party won 13 - 19 % of the vote.

According to the electoral lists, roughly 550 - 700 people voted in each of the districts researched. Between 20 -30 % of the registered voters in those districts are police officers. To Vima says this analysis shows that 45 - 59 % of them voted for Golden Dawn.

News server Česká pozice has analyzed the reason police officers have voted for the extremists as more pragmatic than ideological. Security services would have an advantage should Golden Dawn participate in governing, or to be more precise, they definitely would not lose their existing advantages, but would increase in importance. In the current situation, on the other hand, budget cuts and savings measures must necessarily affect police officers as well.

Golden Dawn has just been guaranteed 21 parliamentary seats with 7 % of the overall vote. However, those results have made it impossible for a new government to be formed, so new elections are expected.

František Kostlán, compiled by František Kostlán
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