The current economic difficulties being experienced in so many countries has made for strange and worrying political affiliations. In these countries incumbent leaders have generally lost out. People tend to lay the blame for economic crisis at the door of the politicians in power. This could easily prove the case for Nicolas Sarkozy in the forthcoming French election. Marine Le pen however of the French National Party received a larger share of the first vote than expected.
Many dispirited and poverty stricken people are worryingly moving toward the extreme right of politics. This has meant that in Greece and Germany Neo Nazis are gaining a foothold.
In Greece it has been reported that Neo Nazi groups are handing out food parcels to attract new followers. Desperate times are proving once again to be a positive for the far right. Hate against foreign nationals and immigrants is sadly growing.
Perhaps it is more surprising that Germany is also experiencing a rise in attacks from the far right. To all extents and purposes Germany seems to have a fairly buoyant economy. Unlike Greece, a country ruled for many years by the left, Germany has a right wing political leader.
German website DW carries an interesting article on the current trend in Germany. It begins, "Scenes from near Nuremberg in Bavaria: Right-wing extremists threaten some young Kurds, shouting, "Get out you damned Turks!" Then several neo-Nazis attack the group, brutally beating up the migrants. One young man sustains severe injuries, falls into a coma and only barely survives.
On a different occasion some youths hold a vigil for the victims of right-wing extremism. They hold up banners saying "Fascism - never again." Suddenly they are bombarded with fireworks by a group of masked people. Later the youth center is daubed with swastikas and the threat: "We will get you all!"
Greece appears to have forgotten its ills at the hands of the German Nazi party during the second world war. Germany has of course seen all of this before also. Perhaps most of the followers are the young generation who are so far away from that terrible conflict. The leaders may be die hard fascists but the new generation looking at the current mess foolishly appear to believe that fascism will cure their ills. It will not. It will create a much worse world than we have now,
So often in the past extreme factions have managed to gain the upper hand by the back door. Ignoring them is not the answer. They will not simply go away but rather will utilise every opportunity to gain power. The time to act is now. One step forward would be for the governments of Europe to reconsider their hardline austerity measures such as those in Greece.
Making the people suffer for Government mismanagement will play in to the hands of the extreme right.
Tags: Neo Nazi, rise of fascism, extreme right, German neo nazis, Greek neo nazis
Eileen Kersey manages TEK Staff Blog