ATHENS (Reuters) - Greek journalists on Tuesday accused the ultra-nationalist Golden Dawn party of intimidation after they became the first far-right group to enter parliament since military dictatorship ended.
At a news conference after securing 7 percent of the vote on Sunday, Golden Dawn members ordered journalists to stand to attention for party leader Nikolaos Mihaloliakos. Many journalists left the room in protest.
Mihaloliakos also marched down the street on Sunday flanked by muscular men with shaved heads and tight t-shirts, and yelling “liars!” at the foreign journalists following him.
“The Greek Federation of Journalists (POESY) warns Hitler nostalgics and especially the ‘brave boys in black t-shirts’ that no journalist will be coerced, threatened and above all terrorized,” the union said in a statement.
The Athens Union of Journalists (ESIEA) said: “Acting like bouncers, they showed their true colors. We are not afraid of you. We will reveal your role. You will not have your way.”
Promising to rid Greece of immigrants and with a swastika-like logo, Golden Dawn is the first far-right party to enter parliament since the fall of the military dictatorship in 1974.
The party, which denies that it is neo-Nazi, rose from obscurity in just over a year by appealing to Greeks who feel that a rise in crime driven by five years of recession has made the streets unsafe.
Many Greeks were shocked by its success, also fuelled in part by anger with the two parties that have been in power for decades and led Greece into its debt crisis: the conservative New Democracy and the socialist PASOK.
Reporting by Karolina Tagaris; Editing by Kevin Liffey