Shouting “Foreigners out!” and “Greece for the Greeks,” hundreds of flag-waving neo-Nazi Golden Dawn supporters clamor their anger towards migrants in downtown Athens on Wednesday, just four days before Sunday’s key general election.
“Greece has got to stop hosting foreigners and send them home,” party leader Nikos Michaloliakos tells the crowd of 500 gathered as dusk falls over a down-at-heels corner of Athens frequented by travelers and migrants.
Michaloliakos, whose party is tipped to take third place in the September poll with around six percent support, won 388,000 votes in elections in January, a little less than in June 2012 when it garnered 426,000 votes.
Cheered as he demands the government guard Greece’s borders, he calls for “the army to be sent in!”
It is the 57-year-old leader’s first public rally since being released in March after 18 months in jail on criminal charges, along with other party officials, in connection with the fatal shooting of anti-fascist rapper Pavlos Fyssas two years ago.