Monday March 2, 2015 Search
Weather | Athens
11o C
6o C
News
Business
Comment
Life
Sports
Community
Survival Guide
Greek Edition
Greek schools 'fertile ground for neo-Nazis'

By Catherine Boitard

Schools in crisis-hit Greece are proving fertile ground for Golden Dawn, the neo-Nazi group suspected of orchestrating attacks on migrants whose popularity is on the rise, anti-racism activists warn.

Once a secretive group on the fringe of Greek politics, Golden Dawn picked up over 400,000 votes in a June election dominated by anti-austerity anger.

Capitalising on popular anger with the perceived decades-old corruption of mainstream parties, the group elected 18 lawmakers in the 300-seat Greek parliament and is now the party of choice for one in 10 Greeks, polls show.

Still thin on numbers, Golden Dawn now seeks to spread the word to the next generation.

In November, a brawl broke out between Albanian and Greek high school pupils on the island of Crete over a Golden Dawn event advertised on Facebook, sending two of them to hospital.

A fight had previously broken out at the same school over neo-Nazi slogans found on a blackboard.

In various schools "there are organised gangs harassing foreign pupils and their parents, verbally so far but with an intensity that could at any minute turn into physical violence," said Nicodemos Maina Kinyua, the 35-year-old editor of Athens-based African magazine Asante.

The Kenyan-born journalist, who has lived in Greece since childhood, says the country's education system offers "fertile ground" for neo-Nazi influence.

"The dominant concept in school is that Greeks invented everything at the time when the rest of humanity was perched on trees, eating acorns," he said.

Golden Dawn has taken a strong hand in enforcing the teaching of "accurate" history in schools.

The group denies that students were killed by security forces inside the Athens Polytechnic in 1973, a seminal event considered to have hastened the downfall of the army dictatorship then ruling the country.

And its leader Nikos Michaloliakos has publicly complained that Greek media are ruled by a "Red junta".

During a recent school visit to parliament, one Golden Dawn deputy openly told pupils to resist the "terrorism" of the Left.

School authorities were already forced into action last month to halt the transfer of a maternity school teacher on the island of Lefkada, demanded by Golden Dawn after she decorated the classroom with both Greek and Albanian flags -- in deference to her Albanian pupils -- ahead of a Greek national holiday.

And a disciplinary procedure was opened in Athens against a high school principal who threatened to call in Golden Dawn to chastise his pupils.

"This threat is very much in fashion," admits a high school teacher who was recently insulted by three of her pupils for her left-wing sympathies.

"What is worse is that two-thirds of my colleagues saw this incident as a justifiable dispute over politics," she said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Another teacher, Artemis Kalogyri, said it was a constant struggle to keep neo-Nazi arguments and behaviour outside the high school in the working class Athens district of Kallithea where she teaches literature.

"Teens are being recruited, particularly those from poor families, and receive a training in theory and paramilitary tactics so that Golden Dawn can pass on the flame," Kalogyri told a recent anti-racist gathering.

"Most of these youths want to change the world. They see the far-right as the guarantor of Hellenism against the threat of dissolution in which migrants are involved. Most of them want to join the police or the army," she said.

Deputy education minister Theodoros Papatheodorou said the country must act "without delay."

"There are sporadic attempts to penetrate schools and intimidate professors and pupils. It emanates either from parents who claim to be Golden Dawn members or from fully-fledged Golden Dawn cadres," he told AFP. [AFP]

ekathimerini.com , Thursday December 6, 2012 (16:50)  
Art collector Ion Vorres dies at the age of 91
A museum in northern Athens is preserving the memories of Asia Minor Greeks
US citizens in Greece and US taxes: A word to the wise, and a seminar
University stresses benefits of donkey, goat breeding
TDF17
Greek selections at the 17th Thessaloniki doc fest
Fifteen years since his landmark film Agelastos Petra (The Mourning Rock), an emotional 10-year exploration of the impact of industrial activity on the people, environment and antiquities ...
TDF17
Thessaloniki doc fest returns with tribute to Austrian, Romanian filmmakers
Hubert Sauper and Alexandru Solomon are but a couple of the filmmakers heading to this years Thessaloniki Documentary Festival (TDF), according to organizers as they unveiled the lineup of ...
Inside Life
Inside Travel
Inside Gastronomy
SPONSORED LINK: FinanzNachrichten.de
SPONSORED LINK: BestPrice.gr
RECENT NEWS
1. Greece to make international protest over Turkey reserving Aegean air space
2. Super League to seek way out of impasse
3. Greek debt becoming less sustainable
4. No progress seen in tax administration
5. House protection criteria will benefit wealthy borrowers, too
6. Agenda
more news
Today
This Week
1. Greece to make international protest over Turkey reserving Aegean air space
2. Greece's lenders skeptical on new bills but focus on funding needs
3. Schaeuble softens tone, says Greece 'needs time'
4. Greece to prioritize IMF repayments but wants talks on ECB-held bonds, says Varoufakis
5. Lenders to be consulted over collective bargaining
6. Spanish PM hits back at Greek accusation of anti-Athens 'axis'
Today
This Week
1. Time for Alexis Tsipras to keep his nerve
2. A fierce battle looms
3. The ignorance of the West about the culture of Islam
4. Spain said to lead push to hold Greece to terms as Podemos grows
5. SYRIZA feeling the pain
6. The unlikely winners of Greece's surrender on euro
Find us ...
... on
Twitter
... on Facebook
About us  |  Subscriptions  |  Advertising  |  Contact us  |  Athens Plus  |  RSS  |   
Copyright 2015, H KAΘHMEPINH All Rights Reserved.