Shalom Life | June 06, 2014

Golden Dawn to Participate in European Parliamentary Elections

The political party infamous for its neo-Nazi ties has been approved by the Greek Supreme Court, despite being surrounded by controversy

By: Hugh Holt

Published: May 14th, 2014 in News » World

Golden Dawn to Participate in European Parliamentary Elections

Golden Dawn, a far-right, neo-Nazi political party in Greece, was granted access to participate in Europe's parliamentary elections despite attempts to ban the party from the ballot earlier this week.

The party will likely succeed in placing at least one of its members in the parliament, by democratic popular vote, The Times of Israel reports.

The ruling to allow Golden Dawn to participate in elections comes amid criminal investigations against six of the party's lawmakers, including its leader, Nikolaos G. Michaloliakos, all of whom are currently awaiting trail in prison. Allegations against the party include claims of assault and murder against political opponents.

Members of the party are known for their black shirts, anti-immigrant rhetoric, and Nazi-style torchlit rallies, Financial Times reports, while commenting on the group's growing popularity.

“This is a very serious issue: it may be the first time a Greek neo-Nazi will participate in the European parliament which is a serious problem, not just for Greece, but for Europe,” Victor Eliezer, the secretary general of KIS, the Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece, told The Times of Israel.

Prominent Greek-Americans have already began condemning Golden Dawn. Those speaking out include US Representatives Gus Bilirakis, John Sarbanes, and Dina Titus; New York Senators Michael Gianaris and Dean Skelos, as well as many others, World Jewish Congress reports.

Golden Dawn has gained in popularity in Greece following the country's debt crisis, by utilizing widespread discontentment over issues like immigration reform. A recent Global Impact 100 study from the ADL lists Greece has the highest index of anti-Semitism in Western Europe. The poll indicated Greece at number 17 in the 100 most anti-Semitic countries. It is the top non-Muslim nation in the ranking with 69% of the population holding anti-Semitic views.

This type of sentiment may be why Golden Dawn took around seven percent of the vote in the 2012 Greek election. According to new polls they hold near eight percent of the votes, compared to the main parties' around 18-20 percent.

European Parliament Elections will be held May 22 through May 25, 2014.

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