Over 5,000 neo-Nazi Golden Dawn supporters rallied in central Athens this week, bringing traffic to a halt and causing roads to be cordoned off.
Far-right protesters marched past the Turkish and US embassies in Athens chanting anti-immigration slogans, in a protest billed as a ‘remembrance rally’.
Wearing military fatigues, baseball caps and swastikas, the demonstrators marched under neo-Nazi banners, lit torches and fired flares, independent sources report.
Golden Dawn say that the demonstration was organised to commemorate three pilots killed during a Greek dispute with Turkey in 1996.
It was the largest show of support for the Greek political party since their shock election success last year, in which they took 7 per cent of the vote.
Though regarded as extreme when they formed in 1993, tough economic measures imposed by the Eurozone have led to a sharp rise in the party’s support base.
A 2011 article written by Golden Dawn MP Ilias Kasidiaris and published in the Golden Dawn magazine asked: “What would the future of Europe and the whole modern world be like if World War II (which the democracies, or in fact the Jews - according to general Ioannis Metaxas - declared on Germany) hadn't stopped the renewing route of National Socialism?’
The same piece described Adolf Hitler as a “great social reformer” and “military genius”.
Golden Dawn officially deny allegations of Nazism and antisemitism.
They are currently the third most popular party in Greece, holding 18 seats in parliament, fewer only than the amount held by the ruling conservative New Democracy party and leftist opposition Syriza.