Report from a fascist rally in Greece

From a chilling, in-depth report by Maria Margaronis about the rising neo-nazi party, Golden Dawn, in “austerity-ravaged” Greece:

Standing among the citizens of Megara as [Golden Dawn party leader] Michaloliakos addresses them, I feel as if I’ve slipped into a parallel universe. As a Greek, I’ve known these people all my life: middle-aged women with coiffed hair and well-upholstered bosoms, men in clean white shirts and neatly belted trousers. They’re the people who run the cafes and corner shops; who work hard every day, often at two or three jobs; who pinch children’s cheeks and won’t let you pay for your coffee; who were always cynical about politicians’ promises. I never thought they could fall prey to fascist oratory. Yet here they are, applauding Michaloliakos as he barks and roars, floodlit against a low white building next to the petrol station. We could almost be back in the 1940s, between the Axis occupation and the civil war, when former collaborators whipped up hatred of the left resistance.

Later in the article, a Greek woman speaks with the reporter:

“We’re the living dead,“ she says. Isn’t she troubled by Golden Dawn’s violence? ”The boys in the black shirts are the only ones I’m not scared of. I feel they’ll protect me.“ I ask her mother, old enough to remember the junta, what she thinks of their far-right views. ”I heard Michaloliakos say on TV that their sign isn’t Hitler’s sign but a patriotic one,“ she says, and then looks down at her feet. ”It does upset me a bit. But I haven’t heard of anyone else giving out food."

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