But organisers have remained defiant: "The festival will go ahead. It will be held on private property and you will find out the location a day before it is due to start," said a Golden Dawn official. Several thousand people from at least nine European countries are expected at the gathering, billed as "three days of comradeship, with live shows, sport activities by the sea and most important, an open congress with speeches on defending our European identity". The event's main slogan is "Our Europe, not theirs. Turkey out of Europe".
Initially the event was to be held in the southern Greek town of Meligalas but protests by local authorities and NGOs have forced several changes of venue. A large booking at a campsite on behalf of Golden Dawn was confirmed earlier this week at the town of Stylida, 150km north of Athens. The town's mayor has denounced the festival: "We are furious ... Our people fought against Nazism and they want to come here? We don't want them here and we are asking the government to do whatever possible so that this disgraceful event does not take place."
Last night protest groups gathered in the nearby town of Lamia to discuss potential action plans. Takis Giannopoulos from Youth Against Racism in Europe told The Independent: "If the fascists try to hold their festival at the campsite here we will be there to block the entrance and make sure they don't get in. If the location changes we will go and stop them wherever they are." The Greek Public Order Minister, George Voulgarakis, said that the police would intervene if the organisers tried to go ahead with the event.Reuse content