Published on Thursday, 26 July 2012 13:12 Written by John Ferguson
The mission to use the cover of the internet to create a nationalistic political force among one of the world's largest Greek communities outside Athens has been savaged by Australia's Jewish and Greek communities.
The Golden Dawn Melbourne Facebook page has attracted more than 2500 followers - with many friends from overseas - and the proponents are planning to organise regular meetings to discuss nationalistic policies and widen appeal for a political party that has been condemned worldwide.
The Facebook page lists the group's favourite quote as: "Northern Greece, Cyprus, Macedonia, the battle continues as in Australia blood and honour, Golden Dawn."
The Australian backers of the ultra-nationalist party do not appear to have put their names to the project and did not respond to requests for comment yesterday.
The emergence of the party's Australian branch comes after a small group of protesters tried to disrupt Greek National Day celebrations in Melbourne in March, wearing clothes promoting Golden Dawn. Proponents are claiming to be behind the group's first chapter outside Greece.
The Australian/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council was alerted to the Melbourne group from Greece and has warned that its extremist agenda could not be tolerated.
AIJAC community affairs director Jeremy Jones said: "Melbourne is obviously a place where the people are trying to build an outside base. It's just repulsive."
The editor of Melbourne's Neos Kosmos newspaper, Kostas Nikolopoulos, said a "handful of individuals" were behind the push and they were trying to "drug" the community: "They live on the fringe and they act on the fringe."
Victorian Multicultural Affairs and Citizenship Nicholas Kotsiras said only a small number of "ignorant" and "ill-informed" people were involved. "Australia has no room for this type of intolerance and the vast majority of Victorians of Greek descent - and indeed Greeks in Greece - find the views of Golden Dawn abhorrent."
The Facebook site carries the controversial Golden Dawn logo, which appears to be modelled on the swastika, although the party in Greece denies this connection to World War II fascism.
On the back of the economic meltdown, Golden Dawn gained representation in the Greek parliament this year, winning about 7 per cent of the vote and 18 seats in the 300-member parliament.
Golden Dawn Greek spokesman Ilias Kasidiaris recently described the country's immigration challenges as due to an agenda to populate the country with "sub-humans" and called for landmines as part of border protection.
The group's Melbourne profile states: "Our aims are (to) get articles from Greece and translating (sic) them in English, allowing the Hellenic diaspora to understand the political and (sic) destruction being caused to Mother Hellas."
Credit: The Australian