Greek fascists feed on xenophobia

Guest post by Andrew Murphy

A specter is haunting Greece– the specter of xenophobia. While the BNP in the UK dishes out its far right agenda wrapped in Churchillian appeals to patriotism, their counterparts in Greece make no attempts to hide their true colors.

Recently in Athens:

[H]undreds of demonstrators flew the Greek flag, played music by Wagner as did the Nazis once, and sang radical marching tunes. “Blood, Honour, Golden Dawn” went one slogan, Golden Dawn being the name of the most notorious fascist group in the country. The demonstrators attack foreigners, journalists or just anyone who dared show disapproval of the demonstration.

This is not an isolated event. Athens has seen violence toward immigrants mounting, especially toward the Pakistani community.There is now a plan by the Greek government to use EU money to involve the Greek military in detaining immigrants.

The Greek Muslim community in Athens feels marginalized by the low pay of immigrants and perceived religious discrimination which has culminated in rallies and clashes with Greek authorities.

“We see no mosque, we see no cemetery, basically they are making fools of us,” says Abu Mahmoud, a Moroccan who has lived in Greece since 1985. “The situation in Athens is getting worse because of the economic crisis which is hitting foreigners the hardest, and the city centre has become a jungle as a result.”

Let’s hope 4th of August Regime of General Ioannis Metaxas remains a sordid, distant memory and not a preview to coming attractions in Athens.