“Golden Dawn’s rise signals breakdown of the Greek state’s authority.” – Richard Seymour

Richard Seymour, author of the upcoming Against Austerity (Pluto, 2014), has written an article for the Guardian about the emergence of the far right in Greece. For more on Greek austerity and politics, check out Crucible of Resistance: Greece, the Eurozone & the World Economic Crisis (Pluto, 2013), by Christos Laskos & Euclid Tsakalotos.

Seymour outlines the situation angrily: 

Today, it is reported that elements in the Greek armed forces have been training Golden Dawn hit squads. There are allegations that there is a secret, 3,000-strong paramilitary structure within Golden Dawn that is being combat-trained by sympathisers in the military. It is appalling how credible this report is.

There was much idle chatter about a possible coup d’etat when prime minister George Papandreou was promising Greek voters a referendum on his austerity package. There was, allegedly, a state of alert order being circulated within the military, about the possible need to intervene in the case of social disorder. The fact that the defence minister felt the need to sack a lot of top army officers also fuelled the speculation.

He then points out some rumours and statistics about the presence of Golden Dawn:

So far, so much speculation. But the presence of a large and growing neo-Nazi organisation such as the Golden Dawn, which gained just under 7% of votes in the 2012 elections, could be a real challenge to parliamentary democracy. In those same elections, half the police force are said to have voted for the Golden Dawn. Sections of the Greek state have always been attracted to this far-right organisation. And I stress:sections of the Greek state. Subsequent revelations suggest that there was a close relationship between Golden Dawn and Greek police, while antifascists have been subject to torture in police hands. There has also been a general state tolerance for Golden Dawn’s violent and racist public behaviour – the big surprise in May was that the Athens mayor finally decided that his police, rather than colluding with Golden Dawn, had to shut down one of their Greek-only food handouts.

Seymour ends with his own suggestion of a solution:

So far, so much speculation. But the presence of a large and growing neo-Nazi organisation such as the Golden Dawn, which gained just under 7% of votes in the 2012 elections, could be a real challenge to parliamentary democracy. In those same elections, half the police force are said to have voted for the Golden Dawn. Sections of the Greek state have always been attracted to this far-right organisation. And I stress:sections of the Greek state. Subsequent revelations suggest that there was a close relationship between Golden Dawn and Greek police, while antifascists have been subject to torture in police hands. There has also been a general state tolerance for Golden Dawn’s violent and racist public behaviour – the big surprise in May was that the Athens mayor finally decided that his police, rather than colluding with Golden Dawn, had to shut down one of their Greek-only food handouts.

You can read the article in full at its original source here.

Richard Seymour’s book, Against Austerity, will be out in 2014! To buy Laskos and Tsakalotos’s Crucible of Resistance for just £9.80 during our ‘back to uni’ mega-sale, click the cover image below.

Seymour T02680Laskos T02733

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