Editorial: Chilling echoes of history in Greece

 

Share
Related Topics

Recent months have seen a marked calming of the crisis that, as recently as last summer, threatened to pitch Greece out of the eurozone and its remaining members – if not the entire world – into chaos.

While austerity is still biting hard across much of southern Europe, confidence is nonetheless rising and there is some stability, at last, in the financial markets. It is of no mean significance that Greek bond yields this week fell below 10 per cent for the first time since October 2010.

The eurozone's problems are far from over, however. Indeed, the danger now is that the breathing space bought by the European Central Bank's unlimited bond-buying scheme, unveiled in September, will be used by policymakers to duck both the unpopular structural reforms and the moves towards closer fiscal union needed to put an end to the crisis.

Nor has the spectre of political breakdown receded. Far from it. In a chilling echo of history, extremist political parties across the Continent are feeding on the instability and hardship caused by the euro crisis. And nowhere is the phenomenon starker than in Greece.

There can be no doubt of the Golden Dawn party's toxicity. Its symbol is uncannily close to the swastika; its members use the Nazi salute, and there are reports of black-shirted vigilantes attacking immigrants and those from ethnic minorities. Worse still, as Greece grinds through its fourth year of recession, Golden Dawn is going from strength to strength. And, as we report today, the party is drawing ever larger numbers to its poisonous agenda, using social networking technology specifically to target young people.

Alarmingly, the strategy is working. Three years ago, Golden Dawn was a political non-entity. In last summer's general election, it won nearly 7 per cent of the vote and secured 18 seats. Now, some polls rank it in third place.

For all the apparent calm, then, the eurozone still faces colossal risks. A slide back to business as usual by the political classes will not only drag the bloc back to the brink of market meltdown, but it will also be grist to the mill of the far right. The stakes could hardly be higher.

React Now

Latest stories from i100
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Maths Teacher

£110 - £200 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: Secondary Maths Teacher for spe...

Business Analyst - Surrey - Permanent - Up to £50k DOE

£40000 - £50000 Per Annum Excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd:...

***ASP.NET Developer - Cheshire - £35k - Permanent***

£30000 - £35000 Per Annum Excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd:...

***Solutions Architect*** - Brighton - £40k - Permanent

£35000 - £40000 Per Annum Excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd:...

Day In a Page

Read Next
Women are working in some of the lowest-paid sectors such as cleaning, catering and caring  

Women's wages have gone backwards. Labour would give women the pay they deserve

Gloria de Piero
 

Taking on Ukip requires a delicate balancing act for both main parties

Andrew Grice
Wilko Johnson, now the bad news: musician splits with manager after police investigate assault claims

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news

Former Dr Feelgood splits with manager after police investigate assault claims
Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands ahead of the US midterm elections

Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands

The Senator for Colorado is for gay rights, for abortion rights – and in the Republicans’ sights as they threaten to take control of the Senate next month
New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

Evidence found of contact between Easter Islanders and South America
Cerys Matthews reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of Dylan Thomas

Cerys Matthews on Dylan Thomas

The singer reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of the famous Welsh poet
DIY is not fun and we've finally realised this as a nation

Homebase closures: 'DIY is not fun'

Homebase has announced the closure of one in four of its stores. Nick Harding, who never did know his awl from his elbow, is glad to see the back of DIY
The Battle of the Five Armies: Air New Zealand releases new Hobbit-inspired in-flight video

Air New Zealand's wizard in-flight video

The airline has released a new Hobbit-inspired clip dubbed "The most epic safety video ever made"
Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month - but can you stomach the sweetness?

Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month

The combination of cinnamon, clove, nutmeg (and no actual pumpkin), now flavours everything from lattes to cream cheese in the US
11 best sonic skincare brushes

11 best sonic skincare brushes

Forget the flannel - take skincare to the next level by using your favourite cleanser with a sonic facial brush
Paul Scholes column: I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo

Paul Scholes column

I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Jones and Rojo
Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

While other sports are stalked by corruption, we are an easy target for the critics
Jamie Roberts exclusive interview: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Jamie Roberts: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Wales centre says he’s not coming home but is looking to establish himself at Racing Métro
How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

A crime that reveals London's dark heart

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?