While there are other reasons, especially in the political sphere, for Golden Dawn’s remarkable rise, the deterioration of Greece’s socioeconomic foundations cannot be ignored. The plummeting quality of life for thousands of Greeks provided ample fodder for the neofascist party to spread its populist and hate-filled message.
There has been a significant rise in racist attacks since the 2012 general elections, when Golden Dawn entered Parliament, and it has been exacerbated by authorities’ failure to react, the Greek Ombudsman said in a damning report delivered to MPs on Wednesday.
As tragic as the murder of 34-year-old hip-hop artist Pavlos Fyssas - known as Killah P - was, it hardly came as a surprise after months of neofascist Golden Dawn stepping up its presence on Greek streets and becoming emboldened by authorities’ reluctance to address its violent behaviour decisively.
The number of children born in Greece fell by more than 14 percent between 2009, when the country began to feel the impact of its economic crisis, and last year.
Data released ahead of World Suicide Prevention Day showed that suicides doubled between 2009 and 2011. The number of deaths by suicide rose from 2.5 per 100,000 of the population before 2009 to over five per 100,000, or 1,245 during the three-year period.
With six out of 10 young Greeks looking for work unable to find any, it is no surprise that stories of graduates and teenagers leaving the country are commonplace. What goes less noticed, though, is that there are quite a few over 25s now seeking to continue their careers abroad.