Greece's neo-Nazi Golden Dawn recorded a strong performance at local elections over the weekend, despite a government crackdown on the party and the arrest of several high-profile politicians accused of criminal activities.
Golden Dawn spokesman and lawmaker Ilias Kasidiaris won more than 16% of the vote in Athens, arriving fourth in the mayoral race.
His fellow party member Ilias Panayiotaros drew 11% of the vote in the region of Attica.
"Greeks recognized that we have become their voice, the voice of truth, in the corrupt Parliament," said Kasidiaris.
Kasidiaris and Panayiotaros didn't qualify for a runoff next Sunday, but the result worried the coalition government in Athens, particularly considering that voters didn't seem to mind that the pair are facing a number charges ranging from murder to extortion.
If confirmed at a national level, the vote share enjoyed by the anti-immigration party would represent a consistent jump from 2012, when Golden Dawn gained almost 7% of preferences, securing 18 parliamentary seats.
Government spokesman Simos Kedikoglou said he could not explain why voters continued to back the party and pledged to do more to inform them about the dangers represented by the neo-Nazi movement, Kathimerini newspaper reported.
Kasidiaris said Golden Dawn expects to feel the benefits of the raising nationalist tide across Europe and score big at the upcoming EU elections.
The party was cleared to run by Greece's Supreme Court earlier this month, despite an ongoing criminal probe which has seen six of its MPs, including the leader Nikos Michaloliakos, held in pre-trial detention on charges including murder, arson and extortion.
Another three, including party spokesman Kasidiaris, are awaiting trial on the same charge but are not being held in custody.
The probe was triggered by the murder of anti-fascist rapper Pavlos Fyssas, nicknamed Killah P. Golden Dawn denies any involvement.
Prosecutors have also linked the party with a series of violent attacks, mostly against immigrants but also against political rivals.