The phantom menace

first_imgAustralian media – as well as international press – have this week reported on Greek political party Golden Dawn’s presence in Melbourne. The reports – armed with Nazi rhetoric and subsequent fear – have informed mainstream Australians that a Greek Nazi party has formed in Australia. But should we be concerned by this said ‘presence’ when we don’t know who Golden Dawn in Melbourne really are? “This is nothing more than misinterpreted information,” Nicholas Kotsiras, Minister for Multiculturalism and Citizenship, tells Neos Kosmos. “It is wrong and simply propaganda in an attempt to win some sympathy.” He said that Golden Dawn has “no place in Greece” and is not and will never be welcomed in Melbourne. The media reported that the Greek far-right political party had in fact set up a Melbourne chapter. And where did they get this information from? A letter sent to the media – including Neos Kosmos – from a hotmail account. The letter sent by ‘Golden Dawn Melbourne’ was in response to an article in The Age entitled Ban sought on far-right Greek party about a petition signed by Immigration Minister Brendan O’Connor to prevent the entry into Australia by 18 Golden Dawn parliamentarians from Greece. In the letter, Golden Dawn Melbourne said they had set up a chapter in Melbourne to “raise awareness of the current political situation in Greece to Greek Australians”. However, Neos Kosmos has contacted this email address, on a number of occasions, to clarify details about the party, such as names and total members involved, and the response has been that a solicitor of the party will contact us with the details. Even in the letter, Golden Dawn Melbourne mentioned that if journalists continued to “harass individual members” of the party, they would face legal action. Problem is, no one knows who these individual members – if they are in fact members (plural) – are. “Golden Dawn is an embarrassment and an insult to Hellenism and what Greece has stood for and fought for over the years,” said Mr Kotsiras. Even though the letter suggested a list of facts by the party, including “If it is OK for Israel to have only Jews as its citizens, then I’m sure the oldest race in the world, the Hellenic race, has a right to only have Hellenes in our country as citizens”, when this is simply untrue, the facts that we have are: * all communication from Golden Dawn comes from one email, a hotmail account, that anyone can open. An account that any person with internet access can create using any name chosen by them. For example, you can go out right now and open a Hotmail account entitled [email protected] because you like bananas. Because of this, we can not confirm that Golden Dawn are in fact a ‘party’ as such. For all we know, it could just be coming from one person. * the reports suggested that Golden Dawn’s Melbourne chapter was alive and, literally, kicking this year when they ‘hijacked’ the Greek National Independence Day and clashes ensued. The truth? There were four people at the march wearing Golden Dawn paraphernalia who stood on the sidelines and watched – hardly a hijack and clash now is it? * the reports misquoted Neos Kosmos saying that the Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard will not be banning the 18 Greek Golden Dawn MPs from entering the country. Even the PM herself has the nous not to give a political party, made up of archaic and dangerous nationalist ideologies, any legs. The truth is we have no proof that Golden Dawn actually exists in Melbourne, that they have a party. A few people seen at a march wearing a Golden Dawn jumper should hardly ignite concern and fear that they will create – or have created – a chapter here. After all, their policies on immigration go against the very grain, the very nature of Greek Australian existence in the Antipodes. Hypocrisy at its best; thy name is Golden Dawn. Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagramlast_img read more