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Greek neo-Nazis see rise in voter support

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

Greek neo-Nazi party Golden Dawn has seen a jump in its approval rating despite the indictment of several of its members following the murder of an anti-fascist rapper, a poll showed Sunday.

In the survey by Metron Analysis for the Ethnos daily, 6.7 percent of respondents said they would vote for Golden Dawn were elections to be held.

After taking into account the 32.5 percent of respondents whose vote intentions are currently unclear, Metron Analysis said Golden Dawn would probably pick up 10 percent of the vote.

Golden Dawn's support took a dive after leftist rapper Pavlos Fyssas was fatally stabbed by a neo-Nazi supporter in September.

But then the fatal shooting of two Golden Dawn members outside a party office earlier this month, an act claimed by leftist extremists, appears to have increased sympathy for the group.

So far, six of the party's 18 elected members of parliament have been charged with belonging to a criminal organisation. Three are in pre-trial detention including party leader Nikos Michaloliakos, who is charged with running a criminal organisation.

Court documents have linked the party to two murders -- including that of Fyssas -- as well as three attempted murders and numerous assaults.

In past surveys by Metron Analysis, Golden Dawn's voter support had reached a high of 13.1 percent in July but then dropped to 7.6 percent in October, following the murder of Fyssas.

The findings are consistent with those of other survey companies, in which Golden Dawn has held onto an approval rating of around 7.0 percent, making it the third most popular party in spite of Fyssas'a murder and subsequent judicial crackdown.

Three more Golden Dawn lawmakers are to appear before magistrates on Monday to face criminal charges.

Golden Dawn won nearly seven percent of the vote in last year's elections, capitalising on anti-austerity anger and long-running fatigue with unchecked immigration.

jph/boc

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/131124/greek-neo-nazis-see-rise-voter-support