Golden Dawn began as an ideological movement that managed throughout the years to evolve into a political movement and a political party, which successfully entered the national parliament and emerged as the third largest party in Greece. However, recently, and since the latest elections in 2019, in which the party failed to reach the electoral threshold and therefore was left out of parliament, the far-right party experienced a complete dissolution which led to several reconstitutions.
Since 2012, Golden Dawn emerged as a strong actor in the Greek political scene, marking an upward trend in the last decade’s elections. As monitored by several scholars working on far-right parties, what is interesting in the case of Golden Dawn is that the party, for several years has managed to retain its support not only in the national and regional elections, but also in the European ones, reaching a wider audience for their discourse.
Although being examined under the umbrella of the extreme right, Golden Dawn offers some distinct aspects. Self-identified as a nationalist party, Golden Dawn supports national socialism, sacralizes blood and race and adopts the lifestyle of Homeric heroes and gods. It also struggles fiercely against democracy, supports banning abortion for Arians, and rejects Judaism.
Golden Dawn was founded in the mid-1980s, by Nikolaos Michaloliakos and uses a symbol that resembles the Nazi swastika. At first the party espoused national socialism, a tactic they left behind in the early 1990s when they turned to a more Greek nationalist agenda. According to the party’s manifesto, it stands against the demographic alteration, caused by millions of illegal migrants but also against the dissolution of the Greek society caused by the established parties.
Despite not having any significant electoral success for the first two decades since its emergence, in the regional elections of 2010 the party managed to elect a representative to the City Council of Athens (by receiving 5.3% of the popular vote), a success that it managed to maintain through the first national elections of 2012, receiving 7% of the popular vote and gaining 21 seats in the national parliament.Print