|“||So we answer them that we are proud to be Nationalists, we are proud to be Golden Dawners, we are nationalist||„|
|~ Christos Pappas, Greek politician and high ranking member of Golden Dawn|
The Popular Association – Golden Dawn (Greek: Λαϊκός Σύνδεσμος – Χρυσή Αυγή, Laïkós Sýndesmos – Chrysí Avgí), usually known simply as Golden Dawn (Greek: Χρυσή Αυγή, Chrysí Avgí pronounced [xriˈsi avˈʝi]), is an ultranationalist, far-right political party in Greece. Scholars and media have described it as neo-Nazi and fascist, though the group rejects these labels. Members have expressed admiration for the former Greek dictators Ioannis Metaxas of the 4th of August Regime (1936 – 1941), the various leaders of the Hellenic State during World War II (1941 - 1944), and Georgios Papadopoulos of the Regime of the Colonels (1967 – 1974). They have also made use of alleged Nazi symbolism, and have praised figures of Nazi Germany in the past. According to academic sources, the group is racist and xenophobic, and the party's leader has openly identified it as nationalist and racist.
The group's founder and leader, Nikolaos Michaloliakos, began the foundations of what would become Golden Dawn in 1980, when he published the first issue of the right-wing, pro-military junta journal with that name. In this context, Golden Dawn had its origins in the movement that worked towards a return to right-wing military dictatorship in Greece.
Golden Dawn first received widespread attention in 1991, and in 1993 registered as a political party. By this time Golden Dawn had adopted several southern Balkan focused regional objectives as its main programme: to promote the idea of a Greater Greece through the expansion of Greek territory into southern Albania (Northern Epirus), the Republic of North Macedonia, and southern Bulgaria, and ultimately Greece's reconquest of Constantinople (modern day Istanbul) and western Anatolia through war with Turkey. They also called to push for the complete Hellenisation of Greek Macedonia and Western Thrace through the expulsion of Northern Greece's last remaining Macedonian-speaking minority (or so-called Slavophone Greeks) and the Turkish-speaking Muslim minority of East Macedonia and Thrace that were settled during the Ottoman period (see Western Thrace Turks). They also aspire "to combat Islam in the region", such as through contributing fighters to the Greek Volunteer Guard that helped capture Srebrenica.
By the mid-2000s, Golden Dawn had redirected its attention to opposing non-European, and particularly Muslim, immigration into the mainly Greek areas of southern Greece and Athens. Golden Dawn had temporarily ceased political operations in 2005 and was absorbed by the Patriotic Alliance. The Alliance, in turn, ceased operations after Michaloliakos withdrew support in the spring of 2007. Golden Dawn held its sixth congress, in March 2007, where party officials announced the resumption of political activities. At local elections on 7 November 2010 Golden Dawn got 5.3% of the vote in the municipality of Athens, winning a seat at the City Council. In some neighbourhoods with large immigrant communities it reached 20%.
The party ran a campaign during the May 2012 Greek national elections based on concerns about unemployment, austerity, the economy, and immigration, which gained a large increase in support from the Greek electorate. It received 7% of the popular vote, enough for the party to enter the Hellenic Parliament for the first time with 21 seats. Following a second election in June 2012, this was reduced to 18 seats. As a result of the January 2015 Greek national elections, the party became the third largest in Parliament, despite winning only 17 seats. However in the July 2019 Greek national election, Golden Dawn lost every single seat in parliament.
Members of Golden Dawn have been accused of carrying out acts of violence and hate crimes against immigrants, political opponents, homosexuals and ethnic minorities. Golden Dawn's offices have been attacked repeatedly by anarchists and other leftists and clashes between members of Golden Dawn and leftists have not been unusual.
In 2000, unknown suspects vandalized the Monastirioton synagogue, a memorial for Holocaust victims, and Jewish cemeteries in Thessaloniki and Athens. There were claims that Golden Dawn's symbols were present at all four sites. The KIS, the Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece, the Coalition of the Left, of Movements and Ecology, the Greek Helsinki Monitor and others issued statements condemning these acts. The Cyprus chapter of Golden Dawn has been accused of attacks against Turkish Cypriots, and one member was arrested for attacking Turkish Cypriots in 2005.