Munich Personal RePEc Archive

Golden Dawn and the Right-Wing Extremism in Greece

Lymouris, Nikolaos (2013): Golden Dawn and the Right-Wing Extremism in Greece.

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Abstract

There is an ongoing controversy as to whether extreme right has been a longstanding political phenomenon in Greece or whether it is associated with the ongoing economic crisis. The first view suggests that the extreme right ideology has been an integral part of modern Greek political history because of its tradition of far-right dictatorships. The other view emphasizes the fact that the extreme right in Greece never actually existed simply because of the lack of a nationalist middle class. In effect, the emergence of Golden Dawn is simply an epiphenomenon of the economic crisis. At the same time, a broad new trend was adopted not only by the mass media but also -unfortunately– the academia in order to expand – by using false criteria - the political boundaries of the extreme right, to characterize as many parties as possible as extreme right. In any case, the years after the fall of the Greek junta (from 1974 until today) there are mainly two right-wing parties in the Greek political life: the “United Nationalist Movement” (ENEK in its Greek acronym), a fridge organisation acted during the mid 80’s and has ceased to exist, and the Golden Dawn, whose electoral success provoked an important political and social debate.

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