A lot has been said about the fact that large numbers of Greek policemen are supporters and voters of the neo-nazi party Golden Dawn. The first publication of this sort in a mainstream newspaper was an article by Vasilis Lambropoulos in To Vima on 11 May 2012, where he concluded that data from specific polling stations where policemen vote showed that some 50% of policemen had actually voted for Golden Dawn in the 06 May elections. Today, Lambropoulos published another article, saying that this tendency had been confirmed in the 17 June elections.
Lambropoulos’s analysis is based on the voting tally of 11 polling stations in Athens. There is a provision in Greek law
for members of the military, the police, the coastguard and the fire department to be able to vote in specific polling stations in their area of duty, instead of the area where they would normally be registered voters. These stations however do not serve only policemen but also civilian residents of the neighbourhood. In downtown Athens, these special stations are found in three schools near the General Police Directorate of Attica, namely:
- the 17th primary school (24 Ampelakion street) hosts polling stations 806-809,
- the 56th lyceum, 7 Panormou street, hosts polling stations 810-813
- the 16th gymnasium, on the corner of Panormou and Larisis streets, hosts polling stations 814-820.
It is a fact that the percentage of the vote garnered by Golden Dawn in these three schools is astounding. According to the tally published by the Ministry of Interior, in Athens municipality as a whole, Golden Dawn garnered 8.79% of the vote on 06 May and 7.82% on 17 June. In these three schools however, the percentage of votes garnered by Golden Dawn was as follows:
The contrast between the above results and the 111th primary/23rd secondary school of Athens, located minutes away on the corner of Kedrinou and Tseliou streets, which hosts stations 796-805 (see map
) is even more impressive, as the percentage garnered by Golden Dawn in this neighbourhood was lower than the Athens average:
Notes on the above:
- Lambropoulos claims only stations 806-816 are actually stations where policemen on duty can vote. If this is the case, the high percentage of the vote garnered by Golden Dawn in polling stations stations 817 and 818 would need to be explained by a different parameter.
- I can be assumed that polling stations 819-820, while based in the same school as stations 814-818, are for residents of the neighbourhood only, as their percentage of votes for Golden Dawn is consistent with stations 796-805.
According to Lampropoulos, voters’ lists show that 20 to 30% of voters in stations 806-816 are policemen. He extrapolates from these figures to conclude that between 45 and 59% of policemen voting there voted for Golden Dawn.
In his article published on 11 May, Lambropoulos further claims that polling stations located near the Directorate of Police Operations in Kaisariani (greater Athens), where the riot police have their headquarters, report similar results. This is not strictly speaking supported by the data released by the Ministry of Interior. While it is true that stations 1784-1791 and 1796-1799 report a significantly higher percentage of Golden Dawn voters compared to the average for Kaisariani as a whole, (14.63% against 9.41% in the May elections, 12.42% against 8.62% in June), the 4th primary school of Kaisariani, which is located in the same street as the riot police headquarters and hosts polling stations 1792-1795, reports one of the lowest percentages of Golden Dawn voters in the area (6.77% in May, 7.08% in June.) The fact that Lambropoulos does not name the polling stations where riot policemen vote casts a doubt on this specific element of his analysis.
There is however further anecdotal evidence of support of policemen for Golden Dawn. For example, Cretan news website Flashnews.gr
looked into the polling stations based in prisons, where both detainees and guards vote. In the town of Chania, where Golden Dawn garnered 4.23% of the vote in May and 5.41% in June, polling station 277, which is located in the Chania prison, stands out with 20.20% of the vote going to Golden Dawn in May and a whooping 27% in June, while polling stations 271-276 hosted by the neighbouring 19th primary school reported only 3.5% and 4.61% in May and June respectively. Similarly, the Neapoli prison in Lasithi prefecture reported 15.63% and 23.88%, whereas the average for the village of Neapoli was 2.44% and 2.87%. Flashnews however does not specify how many of the voters are detainees and how many prison guards in these polling stations.
Despite these reservations about specific polling stations, the analysis of the voting results in polling stations 806-816 in Athens, which can be verified on the website of the Ministry of Interior
, is ample evidence of the level of penetration of Golden Dawn in the Greek police force or in at least some sections of it. The fact that these figures are found in the General Police Directorate of Attica, which is key for all police operations in the Greater Athens area, is a further cause for concern.