More than half the police officers in Greece reportedly voted for the fascist party Golden Dawn in the latest elections.
Haaretz quoted the Greek news site To Bhma as saying that an examination of the results from polling stations in and around Athens revealed that some 5,000 police officers voted for Golden Dawn in the area. If the voting pattern is representative of the national vote, it constitutes between 45 and 59 percent of the overall number of police officers.
The Neo-Nazi party Golden Dawn, headed by Nikolaos Michaloliakos, won 7 percent of the vote in the May 6 elections, which gave the party 21 seats, while typically dominant parties came out weak, partially as a result of the country’s widespread financial crisis. The elections were deemed inconclusive because the leaders could not form a unity government, and there are talks of fresh elections in June.
Michaloliakos made disparaging comments about the Holocaust in one of his first public statements after the election: “There were no ovens — it’s a lie. I believe it’s a lie. There were no gas chambers, either,” Michaloliakos said in an interview with Greece’s private Mega television, broadcast Sunday.
At the first press conference after the votes, aides ordered the journalists to stand and salute Nikolaos Michaloliakos. Those who refused were forcibly ejected, reported The National Post, a Canadian news site.
Golden Dawn opposes immigration and supports a far right-wing nationalist agenda. Some say Golden Dawn’s flag resembles a swastika, but others claim it is merely a meandros, an ancient Greek symbol.
Some 5,000 Jews live in Greece today. The prewar community of some 78,000, most of whom lived in the northern port city of Thessaloniki, was almost entirely wiped out in the Holocaust.
JTA contributed to this report.