Golden Dawn Lands in Italy as Race Attacks Increase in Athens

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By Gianluca Mezzofiore | November 13, 2012 5:35 AM EST

Greece has been hit by repeated protests over recent months. [Reuters]

Greece's neo-Nazi Golden Dawn party has set up an Italian branch in the north-eastern city of Trieste, according to local reports.

Alba Dorata (Golden Dawn Italy) was founded by Alessandro Gardossi, formerly a member of Forza Nuova, a neo-fascist organisation that has ties with Greece's far-right party, Huffington Post Italy reported.

Gardossi said he has already registered the party's emblem, a crowned squared spiral on a blue-coloured background.

He is planning to keep in touch with Italy's far-right movements and parties, such as CasaPound - nicknamed Fascists of the third millennium.

The development came after Athens police announced they are investigating another xenophobic assault against a 28-year-old Bangladeshi man who has been stabbed in Greece's capital.

Rights groups have warned of an explosion in racist violence over the last year. They say the severity of the attacks and tools used has increased, from simple fists to assaults with metal bars, bats and knives.

"Violence is getting wilder and wilder and we still have the same pattern of attacks ... committed by groups of people in quite an organised way," Kostis Papaioannou, former head of the Greek National Commission for Human Rights, said.

The attacks often occur against illegal migrants who are seeking a better life in the European Union. In most cases, victims are too afraid to give doctors the details of what happened.

"Every day we see someone who complained of (some form) of racist violence," said Nikitas Kanakis, president of the Greek section of Doctors of the World. The association has recorded some 87 cases of racist attacks between January and September.

In November, Golden Dawn MPs have been involved in a race attack against migrants in a central Athens neighbourhood after an immigrant allegedly stabbed a hairdresser in the area.

Golden Dawn extremists have been involved in a number of race-related attacks on immigrants and human rights activists over recent months.

Following the spate of attacks, Greece's parliament has decided to strip three MPs from the far-right party - Panagiotis Iliopoulos, Giorgos Germenis and Ilias Kasidiaris - of their immunity from prosecution.

Despite the controversies, Golden Dawn's popularity rose by 12 percent in the latest poll.

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