Promising to deport all illegal immigrants from and with a powerful mix of anti-EU and anti-austerity rhetoric Greece's far-right party, Golden Dawn, will again bid for power in the home of democracy. In a charm offensive to islands like Kos and Lesbos, struggling with the influx of fleeing Syrian refugees, representatives of the party have been heading to the edge of Europe to promote their hard-line anti-immigration message.
Golden Dawn representatives have visited the islands saying that they are speaking on behalf of residents who do not want to see their islands "collapse under the thousands of illegal immigrants". They stated on their website: "Either to vote Syriza and Kos becomes – as well as the rest of Greece – Pakistan, or to support Golden Dawn and Kos becomes Greece again."
Tomorrow, Greeks will go to the polls just nine months after Alexis Tsipras and his left-wing Syriza party swept to power. The polls indicate that that Syriza and the conservative New Democracy party led by Vangelis Meimarakis are running very close.
Meimarakis has accused Tsipras of breaking promises by abandoning his anti-austerity stance and negotiating an €86bn (£62.6bn) package with the EU. After signing the bail-out deal. Twenty-five of Tsipras's MPs left Syriza to set up their own parliamentary party, Popular Unity.
Golden Dawn has been accused of having neo-Nazi sensibilities and its members have been tried for offences related to racism. However, recently it has been promoting itself with the phrase "nationalism is not a crime", in an attempt to sever links with Nazi ideologies.
According to pollsters Alco, the party is set to win 6% of the vote, gaining two more seats to the 17 they currently hold in parliament. Golden Dawn participated for the first time in elections in 1996, receiving 0.1% of the vote. They didn't participate again in elections until 2009, when they won almost 0.3% of the vote.
The party's big boost occurred in 2009 under the conditions of harsh economic crisis. In the 2012 parliamentary elections, Golden Dawn won 6.9% of the popular vote, and in the January elections it came in third behind Syriza and New Democracy.
While a coalition is the most likely result of tomorrow's vote, both Syriza and New Democracy have ruled out allying themselves with Golden Dawn.
Rise of Golden Dawn
The man behind the group is former maths student, Nikos Michaloliakos, who had been a member of extremist right-wing youth organisations since his teens and was once imprisoned for participating in bomb attacks in Athens. Golden Dawn was formed in 1980 in support of Greece's former military junta and five years later he founded a political party with the same name.
The party was linked to the murder of anti-fascist hip-hop artist Pavlos Fyssas, who was killed by a member of the party in the port city of Piraeus. According to investigators, the assailant, Giorgos Roupakias, had contacted top Golden Dawn party members during and after the murder, according to the Huffington Post.