Greece must cut 4,000 jobs to earn its next bailout payment. But with each cut the government’s control in the country is weakening, as the desperate populace turn to vigilante governance, Golden Dawn style.
As cuts bite ever deeper in Greece, many Greeks feel that the government can no longer provide the protection and services needed for a strong civil society. And in this frightening power vacuum the people have turned to another power: “If I get burgled or I have a problem and I call Golden Dawn, in zero time they are here,” says local shop owner, Mathina. But Golden Dawn aren’t just an over-active neighbourhood watch: “We are ready to open the ovens! We will turn them into soup.” It’s statements like these, from a Golden Dawn member running for parliament, that has immigrants in Greece living in fear. And their threats are not idle. Immigrants dragged out of A&E, businesses ransacked and racially-segregated soup kitchens have become commonplace. The checking of people’s papers on the streets is scarily reminiscent of Nazi Germany or Stalin’s Russia. “Greeks are hungry, foreigners are hungry. In the end one will eat the other,” Mathina says simply. As more locals like Mathina turn to Golden Dawn for support it begs the question; at what cost is Greece’s tough economic medicine coming?