Be afraid, exultant Greek neo-Nazis warn rivals

Greek neo-Nazi party Golden Dawn warned rivals and reformers Sunday that "the time for fear has come" after exit polls showed them securing their entry in parliament for the first time in nearly 40 years.

"The time for fear has come for those who betrayed this homeland," Golden Dawn leader Nikos Michaloliakos told a news conference at an Athens hotel, flanked by menacing shaven-headed young men.

"We are coming," the 55-year-old said as supporters threw firecrackers outside.

According to updated exit polls, the once-marginal party will end up winning over six percent of the vote and sending 19 deputies to the 300-seat parliament on a wave of immigration and crime fears, as well as anti-austerity anger.

Exulting in the apparent breakthrough, Michaloliakos quoted Julius Caesar: "Veni, Vidi, Vici" -- I came, I saw, I conquered.

Michaloliakos said his party would fight against "world usurers" and the "slavery" of an EU-IMF loan agreement which he likened to a "dictatorship".

"Greece is only the beginning," he shouted at reporters as he walked to the news conference, accusing foreign media of spreading lies about his movement.

At the last general election in 2009, the virulently anti-immigrant group had scored just 0.29 percent.

Once part of the country's political fringe, the Hryssi Avgi (Golden Dawn) had already made headlines in 2010 by electing Michaloliakos, 55, to Athens' city council on a wave of anti-immigration tension in the capital's poorer districts.

Shortly after being elected to the council thanks to more than 10,000 votes in the Greek capital, Michaloliakos made waves by giving two fascist salutes captured by a television camera.

A mathematician, Michaloliakos has said Greece could survive "very nicely" without the EU-IMF recovery deal.

"Certainly we should break the agreement," he told the Athens News English-language weekly last month.

"After that, we will survive very nicely. Greece is a rich country," he said, adding that the country would not necessarily have to return to the drachma.

On his agenda, Michaloliakos said his focus would be on "national issues, social issues, the problem of illegal immigration, attribution of responsibility for all scandals."

All illegal migrants "should leave our country," he said.

Golden Dawn has strengthened on the back of the country's deep economic crisis -- it has been bailed out twice -- with unemployment at 20 percent and poverty rising.

It has portrayed immigrants as stealing Greeks' jobs and as being responsible for a wave of crime, as the country is the first point of entry for many illegal migrants into the European Union.

The mainstream parties on the right, including New Democracy of the country's likely next prime minister Antonis Samaras, have been forced to boost their own anti-migration rhetoric to keep up.

The outgoing coalition government planned a network of detention camps around the country to hold migrants earmarked for repatriation, and its socialist predecessors began building a wire fence on the Greek-Turkish border as a deterrent.

With Greece the main entry-point for illegal migrants into Europe, thousands of migrants unable to cross to other EU states due to legal constraints have created urban ghettos in Athens, Patras and other cities.

Hostility from local residents has spiked in recent months with the deterioration of an economic crisis that has brought recession and hundreds of thousands of job losses in Greece.

Loading...

Editor’s note:Yahoo Philippines encourages responsible comments that add dimension to the discussion. No bashing or hate speech, please. You can express your opinion without slamming others or making derogatory remarks.

  • APEC trade chiefs vow to speed up work in WTO

    MANILA, Philippines (AP) — Trade ministers from 21 Asia-Pacific countries on Sunday issued strong support to the World Trade Organization's efforts to boost global trade amid a flurry of regional free trade agreements. …

  • ‘Taklub’ wins jury prize in Cannes
    ‘Taklub’ wins jury prize in Cannes

    The Yolanda-inspired film “Taklub” has won a special award at the Cannes Film Festival in France. The advocacy film, which had a successful premiere last Tuesday under the festival’s Un Certain Regard section, is directed by 2009 Cannes best director Brillante Mendoza and top-billed by Nora Aunor. The award cited the film’s sensitive portrayal of individuals and communities in the Philippines fighting to continue living despite natural disasters exposing them to suffering and death. …

  • Orphan tops chemical engineering board exam
    Orphan tops chemical engineering board exam

    A 21-year-old orphan from Capiz topped the chemical engineering board examinations held this month. Remington Salaya, a cum laude graduate of the Central Philippine University in Iloilo, ranked first in the board examinations with a score of 83.30 percent. Out of 405 chemical engineering graduates who took the exam in mid-May, 239 passed. …

  • A sunset party for APEC delegates
    A sunset party for APEC delegates

    Greeted by the beat of Ati-atihan drummers, delegates of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation trade ministers meeting enjoyed a welcome dinner and cultural presentation at sunset yesterday. Dubbed FuntaSea, Shangri-La Boracay Resort and Spa’s Banyugan Beach was transformed into a fantasy island, complete with mermaids, fire dancers, and choreographed paraws (sailboat) representing the best of Boracay. With APEC meetings being held all over the Philippines, each presentation is conceptualized …

  • UN chief urges peaceful solution of sea dispute
    UN chief urges peaceful solution of sea dispute

    United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called Friday for a peaceful solution to territorial disputes in the South China Sea, where China’s increased assertiveness has alarmed its smaller neighbors. In Manila, Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. appealed to China to respect various international agreements on freedom of navigation and aviation. Coloma’s call came in the wake of an incident Wednesday where Chinese naval forces warned a US …

  • Phl seeks transparency, inclusivity in Asean-China Center
    Phl seeks transparency, inclusivity in Asean-China Center

    Philippine Ambassador to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations Elizabeth Buensuceso has called on participants of the ASEAN-China Center (ACC) brainstorming session to vigorously work on promoting ASEAN-China relations under the principles of inclusivity, transparency and centrality. The brainstorming session, attended by the ACC’s joint council and joint executive board members, also involved a midterm review of ACC’s work since its establishment in 2011. The ACC aims to promote …

  • Lebanon tightens rules on HSW repatriation
    Lebanon tightens rules on HSW repatriation

    Distressed Filipino domestic helpers in Lebanon may find it more difficult to return home. The government of Lebanon has tightened the rules on repatriation of distressed household service workers (HSWs), Labor Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz reported yesterday. Citing a report from the Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO), Baldoz said the Lebanese government opted to re-impose a previous policy requiring investigation into every case of HSWs who ran away from their employers and sought …

  • Army execs face attrition over promotion quota
    Army execs face attrition over promotion quota

    Dozens of Philippine Army officials may be removed from the service due to a promotion quota system in the Armed Forces of the Philippines, according to AFP chief Gen. Gregorio Pio Catapang. In a letter to Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin, he requested that the 30 percent promotion quota – which means that only 30 percent of those eligible for promotion in a given year will actually be promoted – in the Army be raised to 50 percent. Under the military’s attrition law, middle-grade officers …

POLL

Should Aquino be held accountable over the Mamasapano operations?

Loading...
Poll Choice Options