OK, this is just the latest in a number of disturbing things I am hearing out of Athenshttp://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/sep/28/greek-police-victims-neo-nazi?CMP=twt_gu
Greece's far-right Golden Dawn party is increasingly assuming the role of law enforcement officers on the streets of the bankrupt country, with mounting evidence that Athenians are being openly directed by police to seek help from the neo-Nazi group, analysts, activists and lawyers say.
In return, a growing number of Greek crime victims have come to see the party, whose symbol bears an uncanny resemblance to the swastika, as a "protector".
One victim of crime, an eloquent US-trained civil servant, told the Guardian of her family's shock at being referred to the party when her mother recently called the police following an incident involving Albanian immigrants in their downtown apartment block.
"They immediately said if it's an issue with immigrants go to Golden Dawn," said the 38-year-old, who fearing for her job and safety, spoke only on condition of anonymity. "We don't condone Golden Dawn but there is an acute social problem that has come with the breakdown of feeling of security among lower and middle class people in the urban centre," she said. "If the police and official mechanism can't deliver and there is no recourse to justice, then you have to turn to other maverick solutions."
Other Greeks with similar experiences said the far-rightists, catapulted into parliament on a ticket of tackling "immigrant scum" were simply doing the job of a defunct state that had left a growing number feeling overwhelmed by a "sense of powerlessness". "Nature hates vacuums and Golden Dawn is just filling a vacuum that no other party is addressing," one woman lamented. "It gives 'little people' a sense that they can survive, that they are safe in their own homes."
Far from being tamed, parliamentary legitimacy appears only to have emboldened the extremists. In recent weeks racially-motivated attacks have proliferated. Immigrants have spoken of their fear of roaming the streets at night following a spate of attacks by black-clad men on motorbikes. Street vendors from Africa and Asia have also been targeted.
Make no mistake, the Golden Dawn is an outright fascist organization, despite the Guardian dancing around it with the "flag that resembles a swastika" hinting bullshit.
Half of the Athens police force voted for the Golden Dawn, so their sympathy for the group is obvious. The Golden Dawn are also buying up sympathy by distributing food to the poor (so long as they can prove they are Greek) and providing general security on the streets, both from rioting anarchists and leftists and from "immigrant crime" (real or imagined).
Less publically, but still acknowledged, are the night-time armed attacks, beatdowns and murders of the same above enemies of the party. The Greek state, fearful of political instability, seems to be content to let the Golden Dawn take care of the left, and seems to hope that public opinion will take care of any popularity the Golden Dawn might accrue.
Except, of course, it's not working. Because the Golden Dawn are thriving off the chaos they are creating through their actions, creating a self-sustaining loop of insecurity and violence which feeds into their political ambitions while giving their group greater cohesion and paramilitary experience.
Unlike other "Eurofascist" parties, the Greek fascists are old school. It's jackboots on the streets and the physical elimination of enemies. And with the EU pushing for more and more cuts, because it believes the demented idea that austerity cannot fail (it can only be
failed), the Greek state is going to continue to fall apart and rely on paramilitary groups to maintain order.