Sunday, November 4, 2012
Anti-immigrant party takes to the streets in Greece
When the U.N. calls someone "Nazi" one has to be cautious. U.N. bodies call Israel that too. Golden Dawn had negligible support before the anarchy (mostly of Leftist origin) triggered by the Greek economic meltdown so most of its current supporters may not have extreme beliefs.
It is a conventional kneejerk to equate anti-immigrant views with Nazism but such views are widespread in Britain and elsewhere and do not translate into any legislation that could reasonably be called Nazi
The Greek Left have engaged in a lot of aggressive anti-establishment rioting so does that make them Communsts? Probably. But there is no reason why the Left should have a monopoly of violence. Violence begets violence. Violence from either side is uncivilized and should be equally condemned
But it should not be overlooked that Greek politics generally has long been an unruly affair. Even Pericles had trouble keeping a lid on the chaos
Thugs wearing the black T-shirts of the neo-Nazi Golden Dawn party are carrying out attacks on immigrant markets and in public squares, according to the United Nations, with victims speaking of areas in the capital which are now strictly off limits.
Malik Abdulbasset, an Egyptian-born shopkeeper, found himself the target of one of the mobs on Wednesday night after the barber across the road was stabbed during a robbery.
Golden Dawn members led a crowd of enraged locals in a protest on Mikhail Voda St that turned violent despite the presence of riot police.
While no one witnessed the attack on the barber, residents were adamant the assailant was black.
After battering his Egyptian assistant, the mob turned on Mr Abdulbasset, who had defied police to keep his shop open.
"I had to turn and point to my Greek children and my Greek wife and say, look I am Greek, we are Greek, if you want to kill us we cannot stop you but you are killing your own."
The riot police watched on but did not intervene and threats of more protests were pasted on nearby doors.
"I will not close my shop because it is not my fault. But at the same time if something was to happen to my shop I will leave Greece because I am not protected."
Ilias Panagiotaris, an MP for Golden Dawn, and a leading party figure in Athens, was unapologetic about his group's methods.
"Most nations, well, not the US or Australia, have a single nationality that defines its culture and Greece must return to this ideal," he said. "The Golden Dawn is a very well organised party that is intervening to support and help people. Without us in a country where two million of ten million people are illegal, there would be chaos."
Support for his party has doubled from the seven per cent it received in the last Greek election, according to an opinion poll this week.
One of its main claims is it would dragoon immigrants on to flights to Islamabad and dare Pakistan to shoot the aircraft down.
Mr Panagiotaris added the 'papers' of every Greek who had acquired citizenship would be thoroughly vetted. "Everyone should have their documents inspected and those that bought their papers expelled."
The undisguised extremism promoted by Golden Dawn is a chilling watershed in Greece's post-war democracy.
Dimitra Xirou, the mother of Argyris Argyropoulos, the stabbed barber, seethed with anger at the nearby hospital, while holding vigil for her son.
The 43-year-old Mr Argyropoulos, came within an millimetre of death when he was robbed for just 10 euros, with the knife just missing his heart.
"It is us who have no one to protect us," Mrs Xirou said. "We are hungry, we have no jobs, there is crime everywhere.
"It used to be one of the best districts of Athens and now it is slum that we can't escape because the Pakistanis all come here when they arrive in Athens."
While the attacks have not specifically been backed by the powerful Orthodox Church, some priests have reportedly been involved in the protests.
Metropolitan Omyotis Moiysides, the local priest in Mrs Xirou’s Panteleiomon district, said the crime wave sweeping Athens as the economy disintegrated was forcing residents to fight back.
“I understand why the people are crying for help. I was pulled from my car and robbed,” he said. “The police do not come and stop these crimes, so the people have to defend themselves.”
Sri Lankan asylum seekers sent home from Australia
A group of Sri Lankan men have been sent home from Christmas Island after they were found not to have legitimate claims for asylum. Immigration Minister Chris Bowen confirmed the 26 men left on a charter flight late yesterday.
Mr Bowen has also confirmed the final member of a group of 15 Sri Lankans involved in allegedly hijacking a boat in Sri Lankan waters has also been returned.
Political correspondent Sabra Lane told AM the group of 26 men sent home was not connected to that case:
" We understand that this was only the second time that the Minister has used powers available to him under the Migration Act to do this.
He used these powers last weekend to send home a group of men who were accused of piracy. But this group last night, they were totally separate to that group and not involved in that case.
These 26 Sri Lankans, according to the department, had no legal right to be here and they didn't make, according to the department, credible or legitimate claims for asylum.
Crucially here, these men apparently raised no issues about Australia's international obligations.
They made no reference to Australia's being obliged under the UN Convention for Refugees to consider their claims."
Posted by jonjayray at 12:37 AM