Golden Dawn 'ready to open the ovens' to Greece's immigrants
This video - 'The True Face of Golden Dawn' - is profoundly offensive and deeply shocking. It concerns Greece's neo-Nazi party, to which Greeks are increasingly turning in their frustration with the country's political mainstream. Film student Konstantinos Georgousis filmed party members on the streets of Athens as Greece hovered on the economic and political abyss. It is still there: Greece is sinking in a morass of public sector strikes, austerity measures including pay freezes, tax hikes and extensions to the official retirement age, soaring unemployment and civil unrest. The malignant euro is rotting the soul of ancient democracy.
The anti-immigrant rhetoric isn't unique to Golden Dawn: it is being deployed by New Democracy MPs as well as they seek to bring in a bill to restrict all police and military personnel to those of 'Greek race'. Golden Dawn are delighted by this: "The honourable uniform of the Greek armed officer will not be handed to the Albanians, the Asians and the Africans and the country’s armed forces will not come under the control of foreign spies," read a statement issued by the party.
And so, once again, we see the emergence of the spirit of Nazism on the European continent. To hear Greeks talk of 'opening the ovens' and turning immigrants into soap is utterly, utterly deplorable. No wonder the country's ruling party is seeking to limit free speech by controlling newspapers and other media that speak out against the 'mainstream' version of political patriotism. It won't work. This is a Greek tragedy written in Brussels, and we haven't yet reached the interval: the dénouement will be terrifying.
Remove from a nation the right to set its own interest rates to suit its own domestic economy, and in times of turmoil it is left either to tinker with taxation or slash spending. Since the people are not particularly disposed either to high rates of taxation or to cuts in their public services, disquiet turns into protests; protests become marches; marches become riots; riots become social turmoil.
And social turmoil slips into civil war, which is precisely what looms.
In the midst of this turmoil, it is the Church which nurtures immigrant souls and gives spiritual guidance. Not only the Greek Orthodox Church, but also the Anglican Church joins with them in an attempt to bring peace and harmony where there is discord. Eurobishop David Hamid writes:
Ecumenical cooperation continues to grow in Greece between Orthodox and Anglicans. Recently, 'Apostoli', the administrative centre for the Greek Orthodox Church, approached the Anglican Chaplaincy in Athens and enquired as to whether it would be able to provide free English lessons for Greek children of families on very low incomes. Some of the children have received lessons at language schools but loss in family income because of the economic crisis has meant that they had to be withdrawn. Volunteers from the Anglican Church of St Paul offered assistance - one a trained teacher.According to a recent Eurostat 'Eurobarometer' poll, 81 per cent of Greek citizens responded that they believe there is a God; only 3 per cent said they did not believe. The religious beliefs of Golden Dawn are unknown, but it is inconceivable that any Christian could utter the dehumanising words in this video. It only takes a minority to perpetuate the belief that some people are less human than others for the oven doors to be opened once again. No doubt the targets are Greece's Muslims and the (mostly illegal) immigrants from Eastern Europe and the Third World.
On Wednesday 5 March the first lesson was given as pictured above. Lessons are provided twice weekly at the administrative centre. This is one of several projects in Athens where the Orthodox Church and the Anglican Church are working together, particularly during this time of economic hardship in Greece
This is a direct consequence of the inexorable drive for European union. The Pope Emeritus observed a few years ago that the global financial crisis ‘shows the futility of money and ambition’. He said: "He who builds only on visible and tangible things like success, career and money builds the house of his life on sand. We are now seeing, in the collapse of major banks, that money vanishes, it is nothing." And he added: "The only solid reality is the Word of God."
The Archbishop of Canterbury would concur: where there is no ethical framework in finance, we are left with the unfettered worship of Mammon. "In the case of the financial markets and infrastructure of the world," he said, "what has been obliterated is not physical, plant, property and equipment, but confidence. There is no longer confidence in banks as safe, in banks as virtuous, or in bankers as being part of the same world as the rest of us and with the same values and desires as the rest of us. That loss of confidence may be unfair, in many cases I would argue that it is, but it is a reality." He observed: "Activity without purpose is anarchy. It may not look like anarchy, it may in fact be very well organised anarchy but unless it has a serious and clear purpose activity is merely random."
In Greece, that anarchy is not only beginning to look like anarchy: it is organised, serious and purposeful. May God forgive our European Overlords; may He help and sustain the Eurobishop and all who strive for peace and reconciliation.