October 18, 2012
BBC network hosted yesterday an interview with Golden Dawn deputy Ilias Panagiotaros. The deputy talked about the goals and ideas of his party, the conditions in the Greek society, and the way his colleagues endeavor to combat against the crisis. Just to remind you, Golden Dawn is the racist, neo-nazi party that entered the Greek Parliament for the first time on last June election and now opinion polls are showing a singificant increase in its percentage, which is expected to have mounted up to 12%.
The deputy underlined for the first time that in Greece we have “civil war” where someone finds two opposing fronts: from the one side we have the nationalists (i.e. racists) and from the other side we find illegal immigrants, anarchists and any other that is blamed for the current downfall of the country. Needless to point out that this separation is completely superficial and fictional as there is no civil war, nor certain groupings that participate on it. His sayings are a total propaganda and a definite effort to polarize Greek society now that conditions give space for it.
The decision of BBC to invite such a figure to talk about what is happening in Greece is fundamentally misleading. You are not at least ethically allowed to invite someone that is responsible for incidents of violence, exerts racist and segregate propaganda, threats anyone that denies the ideas of his party, and turns the chasing of immigrants into his hobby. Furthermore, you cannot invite someone who embeds the darkest ideas of race discrimination, disrespects democracy and considers the Parliament as the filthiest institution of the regime.
Therefore, I firmly believe that by inviting such a person, BBC accepts his racist propaganda and fosters his views into a wider scale. And here come the following questions: are the media responsible for the increase of rasicm in Greece and Europe or they just ignore to ponder upon such moral and political issues? Is democracy safeguarded or anyone that has something provocative and timely “catchy” to say should be heard publicly?
To go one step further, just take into consideration the propaganda of Goebels during the Weimar Republic. It started considerably calmly, got big, and turned to be extremely radicalized and racist when electoral conditions and the mainstream media solidified its appeal. If you put this comparison into practice in the Greek case, it seems that if we keep going like that, Golden Dawn will start dominating media and diffusing their ideas in an evenly bigger part of the Greek society. In this scenario, I will not even dare to wonder what the consequences might be, 67 years after the fall of Hitler’s regime in Europe.Dimitris Rapidis