Far-right popularity amid austerity and xenophobia

Approximately 20 far-right activists wearing helmets and holding bats reportedly attacked university students affiliated with left wing political groups. The attack, which appeared to be well organised and targeted, took place in Athens University’s school of science early this afternoon during students’ union assembly. Three students were transferred to hospital suffering injuries.The fascists were allegedly members of National People’s Front and Chrysi Avgi (golden dawn). 

Various polls* released in the previous week, show Chrysi Avgi picking up 2.3-3.4% of the national vote, raising fears that “armed conflict” might become a legitimate form of political expression. With Greece under harsh austerity measures, social tensions and xenophobia are on the rise. In an attempt to get voters back who have switched to Chrysi Avgi, LAOS far-right party leader Giorgos Karatzaferis, has been advocating for gun permit as a means of citizens’ protection against illegal immigrants. 

Meanwhile, 300 undocumented immigrants have been detained by police, as Minister of Citizen’s Protection, Michael Crysohoidis has ordered a “sweep” operation in central Athens. Thirty disused military camps across the country are planned to operate before elections as detention centres, aiming to provide housing for illegal immigrants. Northern prefecture’s official Aris Giannakidis, argues among others, that “immigration influx is a European issue. We cannot carry its burdens alone on our shoulders“.

 *polls by Kapa Research, MRM, Marc

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