Supporter of the lefitst Syriza party celebrates win in Athens.

Neo-Nazi Golden Dawn Support Dips Slightly in Greece Election

The neo-Nazi Golden Dawn party maintained its strength in Greek national elections as the far-left party Syriza came to power.

With almost all votes counted from Sunday’s election, Golden Dawn received 6.3 percent of the national vote, giving it 17 seats in the 300-member national parliament and leaving it the third-largest party in Greece.

The election saw the leftist Syriza party fall one seat short of a majority needed to govern alone as Greeks embraced the party’s promise to end six years of economic austerity.

Prime Minister Antonis Samaras’ center-right New Democracy party came in second with 27.9 percent of the vote.

The vote total for Golden Dawn is just slightly below their count from the 2012 election when they garnered 6.9 percent of the vote and 18 seats. They barely shrank despite a widespread crackdown during the past year that saw most of the party’s top leadership jailed on charges of heading a violent criminal organization.

Golden Dawn has been has been accused of being behind dozens of racist attacks on immigrants. It frequently uses Nazi imagery, and its leaders have denied the existence of Nazi death camps and gas chambers.

As part of attempts to crack down on the party, Greek lawmakers recently passed a law with harsher penalties for inciting racial violence and denying the Holocaust. But the law cannot be applied retroactively.

It is also not clear whether the newly elected government will continue the previous government’s crackdown on the neo-Nazi party.


Your Comments

The Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. All readers can browse the comments, and all Forward subscribers can add to the conversation. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Forward requires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not and will be deleted. Egregious commenters or repeat offenders will be banned from commenting. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and the Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.

Recommend this article

Neo-Nazi Golden Dawn Support Dips Slightly in Greece Election

Thank you!

This article has been sent!