World View: Greece's Neo-Nazi Golden Dawn Party Popularity Grows

World View: Greece's Neo-Nazi Golden Dawn Party Popularity Grows

This morning’s key headlines from GenerationalDynamics.com

  • Greece’s bailout under scrutiny again as neo-Nazi popularity grows
  • Rise of neo-Nazi Golden Dawn party splits Greece’s governing coalition
  • Russia grabs Georgian territory for South Ossetia

Greece’s bailout under scrutiny again as neo-Nazi popularity grows

Last week's Golden Dawn rally in Athens, commemorating the anniversary of the fall of Constantinople in 1453
Last week’s Golden Dawn rally in Athens, commemorating the anniversary of the fall of Constantinople in 1453

The next 3.3 billion euro installment in the bailout of Greece is dueat the end of June if Greece is to avoid going bankrupt, and sorepresentatives of the “troika” of organizations bailing out Greece –the European Commission (EC), the European Central Bank (ECB) and theInternational Monetary Fund (IMF) — are returning to Greece to turnthe screws and make sure that the government meets its previouspromises and commitments. The big issue is that Greece has committedto sacking 15,000 civil servants by the end of 2014. They’ve alreadygotten the concession that only 4,000 need be sacked in 2013,postponing 11,000 to next year. However, as it turns out, only 99civil servants have been fired since July of last year. Kathimerini

Rise of neo-Nazi Golden Dawn party splits Greece’s governing coalition

Greece has had six years of recession, and the pressure to sack 4,000civil servants this year comes as Greece’s far-right neo-Nazi GoldenDawn political party is gaining in popularity. (The phraseagainst immigrants is increasing, and last week several thousandGolden Dawn supporters attended a rally in central Athens, holdingGreek flags and fire torches, chanting “Foreigners out of Greece.”Both the European Union and human rights groups are pressuring Greekofficials to toughen xenophobia and racism, and these demands havesplit the governing coalition. The left wing coalition partners, theSocialist Pasok party and Democratic Left, favor strong measures suchas criminalizing incitement to commit racial violence or denying Nazicrimes during WW II. However, conservative Prime Minister AntonisSamaras and his center-right New Democracy party refuse to endorsesuch laws, saying that new laws would have no effect. The new lawscould cause other problems. If, for example, the denial of genocideis explicitly criminalized, then conservative deputies would probablywant to tackle the issue of whether someone who denies Armeniangenocide should face a prison sentence – a debate that is likely tocreate foreign policy tensions. Deutsche Welle and AP

Russia grabs Georgian territory for South Ossetia

Russia appears to be using the same kinds of tactics that China usesin India and the South China sea — just use the military to grabterritory and then argue that it was theirs all along. When Russiainvaded Georgia in 2008, it took control of two Georgian provinces,Abkhazia and South Ossetia, and has discussed the possibility ofeither absorbing them into Russia or recognizing them as independentnations. Last week, Russian border guards in South Ossetia put upwire fences along the South Ossetia border, and in doing so moved theborder 300 meters deep into the village of Ditsi in Georgia, cuttingoff arable lands and sources of water from Ditsi residents. It’sthought that the reason that the Russians are showing contempt for theGeorgian politicians is that they want to pressure Georgia intostaying out of Nato. Georgia is anxious to join Nato, in order togain leverage against Russia. Georgia is a significant contributor toEuro-Atlantic security, and is a large troop contributor to the war inAfghanistan. The new incident in Ditsi is raising the Georgianpopulation’s sense of insecurity, and is raising concerns in Nato.Jamestown and Azer News (Baku)

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