Majority in Greece see Golden Dawn as criminal gang

Last Updated: Monday, October 7, 2013 - 11:42

Athens: Seven out of 10 Greeks see ultra-right Golden Dawn (Chryssi Avgi) as a criminal gang threatening democracy, showed a series of recent opinion polls.

Sixty-six percent of participants in the poll conducted from Oct 1 to 3 feel the party is a threat to democracy in Greece, while 64 percent said that authorities should cut off state funding to it, Xinhua reported.

The arrests of the party`s leader and several MPs and members last week amidst ongoing investigations into the killing of anti-fascist musician Pavlos Fyssas by a Golden Dawn supporter Sep 18 and a string of anti-immigrant attacks in recent months have taken a toll on Golden Dawn`s popularity.

According to ALCO`s poll, it would garner 7.2 percent of votes if elections were held today. In June the firm had estimated the party`s popularity at 10.8 percent.

In last year`s general elections Golden Dawn had won 7 percent of the vote and 18 seats in the 300-member parliament, riding the wave of discontent at harsh austerity imposed to address an acute debt crisis.

Despite the plunge, Golden Dawn remains the third strongest party after the conservative New Democracy (ND) party of Prime Minister Antonis Samaras and the main opposition Radical Left SYRIZA which garner 25.8 percent and 24.8 percent, respectively.

Another survey by pollster VPRC which was conducted from Sep 25 to Oct 3 showed that support for Golden Dawn has dropped to 8.5 percent from 14.5 percent in July.

In VPRC`s poll the party also ranks third after ND and SYRIZA and 68 percent of respondents see it as a criminal gang.

Golden Dawn`s leader Nikos Michaloliakos and two party deputies were jailed pending trial last week, and three other MPs were freed under conditions faced with charges of running a criminal organisation, money laundering, extortion and other criminal acts.

More than 30 arrest warrants have been issued against party members since Sep 28, and according to the latest information from police and judicial sources in Athens more party legislators may face charges in coming days as evidence piles up.

IANS



First Published: Monday, October 7, 2013 - 11:42

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