Government concerned by strong Golden Dawn support in Athens

Government spokesman Simos Kedikoglou said on Monday that the government would do more over the coming days to inform people about the dangers of Golden Dawn after the Neo-Nazi party performed strongly in Athens and Attica in the first round of Sunday’s elections.

Golden spokesman Ilias Kasidiaris drew just over 16 percent of the vote in the City of Athens, while his fellow MP Ilias Panagiotaros gained 11 percent in the region of Attica.

Although neither qualified for the runoff vote next Sunday, the party’s high share of support in the capital was a cause for concern in the government. In the regional vote, Golden Dawn gained around 450,000 votes – a little more than in the June 2012 national elections.

Kedikoglou said he failed to understand why voters still backed the extremist party even though its leader and MPs, including Kasidiaris and Panagiotaros, have been charged with crimes.

“Greeks recognized that we have become their voice, the voice of truth, in the corrupt Parliament,” said Kasidiaris as the results came in.

He predicted a “big victory” for the party in Sunday’s European Parliament elections.