Greece: fascists take over?

The hegemonic media line that Greece’s new “austerity” government is being staffed by non-ideological “technocrats” is deflated by Mark Ames on the Naked Capitalism blog Nov. 16. Ames documents that in fact this “technocratic” government includes figures from the old-line Greek fascist right, spawn of the military junta that ruled from 1967 to 1974. The post sports a photo of three men walking on a college campus—one armed with a club, another with an axe. The text explains:

See the guy in the photo there, dangling an ax from his left hand? That’s Greece’s new “Minister of Infrastructure, Transport and Networks” Makis Voridis captured back in the 1980s, when he led a fascist student group called “Student Alternative” at the University of Athens law school. It’s 1985, and Minister Voridis, dressed like some Kajagoogoo [???] Nazi, is caught on camera patrolling the campus with his fellow fascists, hunting for suspected leftist students to bash. Voridis was booted out of law school that year, and sued by Greece’s National Association of Students for taking part in violent attacks on non-fascist law students.

It seems that Voridis has been an instrumental figure in the mainstreaming of fascism in “acceptable” political guise in Greece, in the style of Alessandra Mussolini in Italy.

In 1994, Voridis helped found a new far-right party, The Hellenic Front. In 2004’s elections, Voridis’s “Hellenic Front Party” formed a bloc with the neo-Nazi “Front Party,” headed by Greece’s most notorious Holocaust denier, Konstantinos Plevis, a former fascist terrorist whose book, “Jews: The Whole Truth,” praised Adolph Hitler and called for the extermination of Jews. Plevis was charged and found guilty of “inciting racial hatred” in 2007, but his sentence was overturned on appeal in 2009.

By that time, Makis “Hammer” Voridis had traded up in the world of Greek fascism, merging his Hellenic Front Party into the far-right LAOS party, an umbrella party for all sorts of neo-Nazi and far-right political organizations. LAOS was founded by another raving anti-Semite, Giorgos Karatzeferis—nicknamed “KaratzaFĂĽhrer” in Greece for alleging that the Holocaust and Auschwitz are Jewish “myths,” and saying that Jews have “no legitimacy to speak in Greece.” The Anti-Defamation League is going ballistic about it; for some reason, the media hasn’t taken notice, except in Israel.

On Nov. 14, a blog with the timely title When the Crisis Hits the Fan informed us that Voridis also served as general secretary of the National Political Union (EPEN), a far-right party founded in 1984 by imprisoned former junta leader Georgios Papadopoulos.

Once again—why is calling out this sinister connection left to Zionists? Hats off to Mark Ames for his effort to raise the alarm on the left—which will certainly be the actual target of resurgent Greek fascism.

See our last posts on Greece, the radical right and the politics of anti-Semitism.

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  1. Greece: fascism resurgent
    New elections in Greece June 18 are being played as a step back from the brink, with the centrist New Democracy party squeaking past the radical left coalition Syriza and fending off “Drachmageddon” (Greece withdrawing from the Eurozone). But reports are not emphasizing that the ultra-right Golden Dawn party won 7% of the vote. And they have hardly been disavowed by New Democracy. Writes Spyros Marchetos on The Guardian’s Comment is Free:

    Most worrying is the ease with which conservatives justify fascist actions. The recent violent attack by Ilias Kasidiaris, a Golden Dawn deputy, on two leftwing women deputies, broadcast live on national television, was hailed by many on the right, and proved a vote-winner. The chief of New Democracy for northern Greece promptly declared that his party and Golden Dawn were “sister organisations”, without provoking any criticism among his colleagues.

    Marchetos adds, rather obviously: “Privileged strata and traditional politicians increasingly see the cultivation of a fascist mass movement as a legitimate reply to the advance of the left. In conditions of social dislocation and economic freefall, this may have explosive consequences.” He adds: “Siblings of Golden Dawn may patrol Bolzano or Birmingham earlier than we imagine.”

    We can hardly wait.