30 September, 2013


The Golden Dawn Party has been declared illegal and most of its MPs have been arrested for belonging to an illegal organisation.

Golden Dawn parades itself as a neo-Nazi Group, with Nazi salutes and a swastika-like emblem. As with Hitler's party before he came to power they go in for a fair bit of Street violence and have been linked in the public mind with the death of a socialist rap artist, although there have been no convictions.

I cannot help feeling that the Greek Government are playing this wrong. These organisations crop up in times of economic malaise, usually trying to blame immigrants for the country's troubles. Such a one appeared in Britain in the 1930s and we have seen modest signs of them occasionally thereafter.

The trick is not to take them seriously, to ridicule their uniforms and salutes; they go away when times are better.

Instead, Greece has got martyrs. Golden Dawn scored 7% in the last elections, which is higher than one would wish but, given that no one will have them in a coalition, not electorally dangerous.

And yet 7% of Greeks will be outraged.

No good will come of this. Greece panicked when it should have giggled.

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