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Golden Dawn (Χρυσή Αυγή, XA)



The party was founded on January 1, 1985 by a former commando, Nikolaos Michaloliakos. The party's openly xenophobic, anti-Semitic, anti-immigration, anti-German and anti-EU policies gained widespread popularity in the wake of the 2008 global crisis and the subsequent Greek economic collapse, its handling (under EU pressure) and the implementation of austerity measures. By the 2012 election the organization increased its support base from 1% to 6.92%. With this the party gained 18 seats in the 300-strong Hellenic Parliament. The XA's increasing popularity can be explained by its simple answers to the crisis: in their view, the crisis was caused by immigrants, the Germans, the West and the Jews. The organization’s messages and its militant subculture are particularly appealing among the youth. This, in turn, can be traced to this generation's loss of faith in democracy, the EU, economic, social and cultural systems and a 50% youth unemployment rate in Greece. The party is linked to a number of violent crimes of which immigrants are the primary victims. The Greek authorities and the justice system did not take firm actions against Golden Dawn until one of its activists assassinated Pavlos Fyssas, an anti-Fascist rapper on September 18, 2013. After that incident, the party's leader was placed under pre-trial detention, something that temporarily dented the organization's popularity. However, in early 2014 activists returned to the street to demonstrate against the arrest of their leaders and announced that the movement would be running in local and European elections, and would be kept alive as “National Dawn”, if banned. Although support for the party declined following the assassination, that tendency did not last long. During the EP elections, its popularity rose significantly and the party came in third place with 9.4% of the votes, and a total of 3 seats. The latest national parliamentary elections revealed a similar trend as the previous ones, which can be explained by the fact that the country remains in crisis. The party emerged as the third strongest party, with 6,3% of the votes despite the current allegations. Indeed, the party is currently being tried in court. Golden Dawn is accused of being a neo-Nazi party of right-wing xenophobes and anti-Semites. After a 15-month investigation, prosecutors will try to prove that Golden Dawn operated as a criminal organization under a military-style leadership that allegedly encouraged the beating - and possibly the killing - of migrants and political opponents. The original hearing scheduled for April was adjourned first for a week, and then again for another week, until June 22, 2015, due to serious protests surrounding the event as well as lack of lawyers for one of the defendant. 
The Golden Dawn’s EP campaign was mainly built on its policy opposing migration and the EU, emphasizing closer ties to Russia at the expense of the latter. The party's foreign policy can be generally described as intransigent, demanding the return of former Greek territories by Turkey and Albania, and the annexation of the Turkish enclave in Cyprus. A referendum to decide whether or not Greece is to accept the bailout conditions proposed by the Juncker Commission, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the European Central Bank (ECB) will take place on 5 July 2015. Golden Dawn, along with both of the two governing parties, Syriza and ANEL, are campaigning for a "no" vote.


XA on the Internet:





- Maria Margaronis: “Fear and loathing in Athens: the rise of Golden Dawn and the far right.” In The Guardian 26 October 2012. Available online at: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/oct/26/golden-dawn-greece-far-right

- William Wheeler: “Europe’s New Fasists.” In The New York Times 17 November 2012. Available online at:  http://www.nytimes.com/2012/11/18/opinion/sunday/europes-new-fascists.html?pagewanted=all

- Political Capital


Popular Orthodox Rally (Λαϊκός Ορθόδοξος Συναγερμός, LAOS)




The Popular Orthodox Rally (Λαϊκός Ορθόδοξος Συναγερμός, LAOS), a right-wing nationalist party, was formed by Giorgos Karatzaferis in 2000 after he was expelled from New Democracy following his criticism of party leader Costas Karamanlis. While LAOS initially adopted an ultra-nationalist line and welcomed members with an extremist past, the party has, at least publicly, gradually eased some of its rhetoric, although it remains a strong opponent of immigration.LAOS was the only party apart from PASOK to vote in favor of the first bailout in 2010 and became a junior partner in the coalition government formed in November 2011. Karatzaferis, however, decided to quit the administration shortly before the second loan agreement was voted in Parliament. The party's short membership in the interim government has caused some voters to flee to far-right parties such as Golden Dawn. Today, LAOS has fallen in vote results, with a score of 1.03% in the latest national elections.

Regarding its platform, LAOS wants the mass repatriation of illegal immigrants in a bid to curb crime and unemployment, and has called for a change in the law to allow victims to shoot robbers. It also wants Germany to pay war reparations for crimes committed by the Nazi regime during its invasion of Greece in World War II. LAOS also supports tax cuts and a hard line against Turkey.


LAOS on the Internet:





- Political Capital

Parliamentary elections - March 11, 2015


European elections - May 25, 2014

Parliamentary elections - June 17, 2012

European elections - June 7, 2009
Sources: EP2014

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