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Is Greece Turning into Weimar Germany?


Last Friday, two members of Greece’s far-right Golden Dawn party were killed in a drive-by shooting directly outside the party’s headquarters near Athens. Although nobody knows yet who was behind the shooting, it comes about two month after an anti-fascist hip-hop musician was stabbed to death by a Golden Dawn supporter, and just after the Greek government began a crackdown on the party for criminal activities. Some now suspect that a far-left group may be behind the attack, and are worried that the violence could soon escalate. The Guardian reports:

Outrage has been voiced by politicians across the spectrum amid concerns that the attack, which lasted 10 seconds and was captured on CCTV, will intensify what has been likened to a civil war between radical factions on the left and right.

Parties that only weeks ago were deploring the neo-fascist Golden Dawn have called it an “assault on democracy”. […]

“The undeclared, low-grade civil war that we are living should not be declared officially,” wrote Christos Dervenis, a leftwing commentator, in the Ethnos newspaper. “Our democracy may be strong but it is not a given.”

Like in Weimar Germany, Greece’s problems began with a massive economic collapse, followed by a period of radicalization as extremist parties like Golden Dawn gained in the polls. Now the radicalization is spreading beyond the ballot box and into the streets. Political murders by extreme right and left groups is one of the things you often get in a fraying social order, and that appears to be what is happening in Greece. Even uglier times ahead?

[Greek counter-terrorism squad members gather evidence outside the local branch of ultra-right wing Golden Dawn party in the northern Athens suburb of Neo Iraklio after a drive-by shooting on November 1, 2013. Photo courtesy of Getty Images.]

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  • Fat_Man

    I’ll wager that Greece does not have the same level of cultural creativity that Weimar had. No one will make a movie like Cabaret about it.

  • Corlyss

    Ringing in my ears: Robert D. Kaplan’s remarks 13 years ago: “The problems produced by including Greece in NATO were nothing compared to the problems that would have arisen if Greece had NOT been included in NATO.”

    What happens when a NATO nation collapses into anarchy?

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