Thursday December 18, 2014 Search
Weather | Athens
17o C
10o C
News
Business
Comment
Life
Sports
Community
Survival Guide
Greek Edition
Mazower warns Greece is underestimating threat of Golden Dawn

Greeks must not turn their back on the democratic legacy of the post-1974 era, Mark Mazower said during a lecture in Athens on Tuesday.

By Harry van Versendaal

Greeks must not underestimate the threat of Golden Dawn if they accept it as a legitimate, mainstream political movement British historian Mark Mazower said Tuesday.

Speaking during a lecture on Greece’s political extremes at Deree – The American College of Greece, Mazower did not hesitate to draw parallels between the Greek far right party and the nationalist socialist (Nazi) party of the 1930s.

“There is commonality of approach,” he said of the two parties stressing their emphasis on biological racism and violent street tactics that sets them apart from other European nationalist movements like Le Pen’s National Front party.

Golden Dawn officials vehemently deny any Nazi affiliation saying they are Greek nationalists and that they have nothing to do with Hitler or Mussolini.

“Any right-wing party worth its salt is keen to stress its nationalist credentials,” said 55-year-old Mazower, an expert on Greece and the Balkans who teaches history at Columbia University.

Greece’s brutal financial crisis has catapulted Golden Dawn, for years at the fringes of domestic politics, into the spotlight. A recent opinion poll put the party’s support at 11.5 percent, compared to the 7 percent that it garnered in June’s election. This puts the party, which currently holds 18 seats in the 300-member House, in third place behind conservative coalition leader New Democracy and leftist opposition SYRIZA.

Reports of deadly attacks against immigrants by alleged supporters of Golden Dawn and its open endorsement of the country’s 1967-1974 military dictatorship have not dented its appeal among voters in a country where national self-understanding has to a significant degree been shaped by the fight against the Nazis and opposition to the junta.

Mazower, who has written a number of books on 20th century Greek and European history, said Greece’s political class has failed to assume culpability or accept even a symbolic share of the burden that the population has had to shoulder as a result of the painful bailout agreements. Nevertheless, he said, Greeks must not turn their back on the democratic legacy of the post-1974 era.

“People need to defend the achievement of the metapolitefsi,” he said of what is widely regarded as the longest period of democratic stability in the country’s modern history.

However, he said, they should try to remedy the system’s failings starting with “the credibility of the political class.”

Mazower was critical of the Greek left “that never made a mental break from the image of revolution.” But in a nod to the ongoing debate among pundits and historians in Greece concerning public toleration of leftist radicalism, the London-born academic drew the line at of equating far right and far left violence.

“Some say all forms of lawlessness are equally dangerous. I disagree,” said Mazower adding that left-wing protests and law-breaking behavior have not put Greek democracy in jeopardy.

He said historical attempts to underline the “fundamental kinship” between fascism and communism – bringing them both under the label of “totalitatarianism” – are flawed.

“The totalitarianism thesis has been abandoned for very good reason,” he said criticizing recent attempts by conservative politicians in Greece to revive the debate in a bid to score political points against SYRIZA.

Instead of going after anarchist-run squats in Athens which are of little political importance, New Democracy should rather direct its energy and attention at the bigger threat that is Golden Dawn, Mazower said referring to recent police raids on several abandoned buildings in Athens.

“Unfortunately the Greek state does not seem to realize the urgency of the situation,” he said.

[Kathimerini English Edition]

ekathimerini.com , Wednesday February 13, 2013 (10:11)  
Europe´s drama in Greece needs final act to avoid tragedy
A pointless battle
Good sense must prevail
To keep Turkey democratic, tie it closer to EU
Tsipras wants agreed solution with eurozone, not unilateral moves
Greece's radical leftist Syriza party will cancel austerity and ask Europe to erase a big chunk of Greek debt to free the country from the dark spell it has fallen under, leader Alexis Tsipr...
Austerity curbed human rights in Greece, report says
Austerity measures adopted as a result of the economic crisis have adversely impacted human rights, including the rights to work and health, noted a report released on Thursday by the Intern...
Inside News
Bumpy ride, but stocks end higher
It was a rollercoaster ride of a session at the Greek bourse on Thursday. Despite the additional concern in the market generated by the result of the first vote for a new president late on W...
German parliament supports extending Greece bailout
The German parliament Thursday backed plans to extend a credit programme for Greece, with Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble voicing hope for a «happy ending» to Athens' economic and politi...
Inside Business
BASKETBALL
Pappas helps Greens overcome Aris
An impressive Nikos Pappas averted an upset by Aris and ensured Panathinaikos retained its perfect record on Tuesday, one day after Olympiakos thrashed Panionios at Nea Smyrni for the Basket...
´Wee Jay´ and idol Georgios Samaras receive Greek sports journalists´ award at Athens gala
A 10-year-old Irish fan of Greek striker Georgios Samaras was in Athens on Monday at the invitation of the Greek Sports Journalists' Association, which honored outstanding achievements in sp...
Inside Sports
SPONSORED LINK: FinanzNachrichten.de
SPONSORED LINK: BestPrice.gr
 RECENT NEWS
1. Bumpy ride, but stocks end higher
2. Tsipras wants agreed solution with eurozone, not unilateral moves
3. German parliament supports extending Greece bailout
4. Greek bond yields fall after ´friendly´ Schaeuble comments
5. No risk of contagion from Greek vote, Italy´s FinMin says
6. Austerity curbed human rights in Greece, report says
more news
Today
This Week
1. Europe's drama in Greece needs final act to avoid tragedy
2. Election looms as Samaras fails to win vote for president
3. Kammenos maintains firm position, says general election is 'one-way street'
4. What SYRIZA says about Greece’s economy, its debt and the euro
5. Merkel says Russia sanctions to remain unless Putin yields; Greece's prospects 'better than two years ago'
6. Snap elections would lead to euro exit, says former premier
Today
This Week
1. Juncker warns Greeks against voting 'extreme forces' into power
2. Romanos and the dilemma
3. Samaras summons bond vigilantes with euro exit talk
4. A friendly yet firm message from Pierre Moscovici
5. East Europe scrambles for energy after Putin kills South Stream
6. Anarchist Nikos Romanos ends hunger strike
   Find us ...
  ... on
Twitter
     ... on Facebook   
About us  |  Subscriptions  |  Advertising  |  Contact us  |  Athens Plus  |  RSS  |   
Copyright © 2014, H KAΘHMEPINH All Rights Reserved.