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BBC Radio 4

Greece's Far-right Extremists

Generation E, Series 1 Episode 4 of 5
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Lucy Ash travels across Europe to meet the continent's next generation, as they face a future where the recent certainties - the euro, comfortable growth, ever closer union - have been brought into question. She explores the challenges they face and the ways they are meeting them.

Programme 4: Greece's Far-right Extremists

In Greece, financial meltdown and soaring illegal immigration have led to the rise of young right-wing extremists. As the country founders under mountains of debt, illegal immigrants have been streaming into the country across the Turkish border. Last year, Greece accounted for 90 percent of Europe's detected illegal border crossings.

Spiraling social unrest has unleashed waves of rioting and vigilante thuggery on the streets of Athens. The U.N.'s refugee agency recently warned that some neighbourhoods of the capital have become no-go zones for anybody who looks like a foreigner.

Lucy meets Sofia Tzortzi, a left-wing member of the city council whose district is the most problematic neighbourhood of the capital. Several buildings are occupied by left-wing youngsters and anarchists, but far-right groups have taken control of other public spaces in the town.

Rising crime and unemployment has been blamed on the new arrivals and that is turning some Athenians to Chrysi Avgi, "Golden Dawn", a far-right nationalist party that is "policing" these neighbourhoods, sometimes brutally. The party won a seat on Athens' municipal council last year.

Lucy meets Ilias, a muscular young Chrysi Avgi member who wants the immigrants to leave. He denies his group is violent but Lucy speaks to a number of young Greeks who disagree and Younous Muhammadi, president of the Afghan community, tells her he was personally attacked by Chrysi Avgi youths.

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15 minutes

Last on

Thu 1 Sep 2011 15:45
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