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Op-Ed: Poll - Greece's Golden Dawn gains support as other parties fall

By Katerina Nikolas     Sep 2, 2012 in Politics
Athens - A new political poll published in Greece shows that support for each of the main political parties has fallen since the June 17 election. The only party to make a significant gain is Golden Dawn, increasing its share of the vote from 6.92 to 8.6 percent.
The latest poll shows that support for the far-left has declined over the summer, whilst the far-right has gained support. Golden Dawn (Chrysi Avgi) has come out of nowhere to become the fourth largest political party in Greece, with a larger support base than the Democratic Left which forms part of the coalition government.
This is in spite of concerted efforts in the international press to depict Golden Dawn as neo-Nazi, while supporters view it as nationalistic rather than extreme. The party maintains the attempts to malign them are not only ridiculous slander but libelous, noting the Greek people now understand correctly that they are a Nationalistic movement. Their continued distribution of food to needy Greeks suffering under austerity measures, has gained them support, though their efforts have been criticized as they only provide food to Greek citizens.
The contrasting figures are published below (election results from Keep Talking Greece)
New Democracy June 17 election results 29.66 Current 24.8, SYRIZA 26.89 (22.8), PASOK 12.28 (9.8), Golden Dawn 6.92 (8.6 ), Independent Greeks 7.51 (6.8), Democratic Left 6.26(5.2), Communists KKE 4.50 (4.7 percent.)
The poll, published by Proto Thema, also shows less than 30 percent are happy with the current government. The most popular political leader remains Fotis Kouvelis, leader of the Democratic Left, while Prime Minister Anthonis Samaras has a 34 percent approval rating.
The Communists and far-left objections to Operation "Xenios Zeus" to tackle the problem of illegal immigration has left their approval ratings plummeting as Proto Thema notes the operation has raised expectations amongst Greeks that the "huge social problem" it creates is being addressed.
With social unrest expected in September as new austerity measures are introduced and taxes raised again, support for Golden Dawn is likely to increase as they develop their political style. Actions appeal to voters and Golden Dawn's on the ground work assisting to fight the many fires that have raged through Greece this summer; their support for Greek citizens that have suffered from crime; and their increasing network of local offices to provide necessary support are likely to see their support soon enter double digits.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of DigitalJournal.com
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