On streets of Athens, racist attacks increase
The party’s tactics — handing out food to poor Greeks, pledging to protect those who feel unprotected by the police — are working. Recent opinion polls have shown Golden Dawn’s support rising to between 9 and 12 percent.
In late August, the conservative-led coalition government began addressing the issue of illegal immigration by rounding up migrants. By early November, they had detained more than 48,480 people, arresting 3,672 of them for being in the country illegally.
Rights groups also warn that what started as xenophobic attacks is now spreading to include anyone who might disagree with the hard-right view. Greek society must understand that the far-right rise doesn’t just concern migrants, said Kanakis.
‘‘It has to do with all of us,’’ he said. ‘‘It’s a problem of everyday democracy.’’
Dalton Bennett in Athens contributed.