It's interesting you mentioned this - I just read an article on this:http://www.spiegel.de/international/eur ... 11,00.html
The article is somewhat overstated but the truth is that the centre of Athens has become somewhat of a ghetto for third world refugees, heroin addicts of all ethnic groups (ie including Greeks) and illegal sex workers from Africa (mainly Nigeria). It is also true that in some areas vigilante groups do the policing instead of regular police units. What we have to keep in mind is that this situation has been purposefully fostered by various interests in order to make real estate prices in the central business district of Athens plummet.
The people that own the slums are making a killing renting out rooms to groups of refugees for $15 per person per night. We are talking ten people plus to a room. Since it is the only type of dwelling a refugee without papers can rent, we can see why they are drawn into these areas and it becomes obvious whose fault it is that these areas have become a ghetto.
It also suits the police since they don't have to risk leaving the office to actually deal with crime in the area. I have seen police, in the paved section of road that divides the National Archeological Museum from the Athens Institute of Technology, stand ten feet away from heroin addicts and dealers swapping drugs for cash.
Do you see a particular brand of National Socialism on the rise in Greece?
National Socialism has been a big part of the Greek political scene since the war of independence from the Ottoman Empire in the late 1800's. The population swaps with the equally National Socialist Turkish state sealed this National Socialist dream in the 1930's by moving a huge proportion of the Muslim Turkish speaking population (except for some communities in Thrace) to Turkey and the Greeks (that had been living in the geographical region of Turkey since before the time of Homer) were kicked out of Turkey into Greece as refugees. There are a number of historical accounts of these tragedies, particularly the burning (catastrophe) of the Greek and Armenian section of Izmir (Smyrna). These events helped bolster a sense of Nationalism/Patriotism on both sides and created a need for a socialist approach to deal with the refugees. Let's not forget that National Socialism/Fascism was very fashionable at the time throughout Europe and even in America.
The "Golden Dawn" neo-nazis have been active in Greece since the 1980's. They have many supporters inside the police force and have even acted as irregular support units to the police to help put down left wing demonstrations (there is ample video and photographic material to support this claim). We are talking about evidence for activities during the last 2-3 years. Many time police units use Golden dawn members as provocateurs at peaceful rallies in order to justify the use of police violence (again ample evidence exists to support this claim, even pictures and footage of provocatuers being transported by police vehicles and being armed with police equipment).
A majority of the official anti-refugee activity by the police being carried out right now is just populist posing by the two major Greek parties in order to gain support for the upcoming elections. I mean, the two major parties political ineptitude caused the problem, now they are going to fix it by flooding the street with police and roughing up a few pennniless an destitute refugees? The anti-refugee activity may subside after the elections (how will they continue to finance it?) but the sentiment will unfortunately been imprinted on the general population. This is the major problem.
But really it's just the same old "divide and conquer" bs. I mean refugees (and so-called illegal immigrants) built the majority of the building structures for the Olympic games, did all the agricultural work, worked in all the industrial sectors doing the most menial work, etc... Now, when the pieces of the pie have been handed out and eaten (and we even borrowed cash to buy another pie and ate that too), well now "we" don't want them in Greece. Now they are to blame for Greece's problems.