World Bulletin/News Desk
Support for Greece's far-right Golden Dawn party has dropped since its leader was jailed this week pending trial but it remains the country's third most popular, scoring higher ratings than in last year's vote, an opinion poll showed on Saturday.
A survey by pollster ALCO for Sunday's Proto Thema newspaper showed support for Golden Dawn has fallen to 7.2 percent from 10.8 percent in June this year, still ranking it the country's third most popular party.
Emerging from obscurity, Golden Dawn entered parliament last year after winning 6.9 percent of the vote and 18 seats in the 300-seat house.
Earlier this week its leader, Nikolaos Mihaloliakos, five more lawmakers and dozens of party members were arrested on charges of belonging to a criminal group.
The country's top court has launched an investigation into whether Golden Dawn is linked with the killing of an anti-racism rapper by a party supporter and a spate of attacks on migrants.
Mihaloliakos and two Golden Dawn lawmakers have been jailed pending trial. Three other party lawmakers were freed with orders to not leave Greece.
According to survey, 68 percent of Greeks believe Golden Dawn is a criminal organisation with 66 percent saying they feel the party is a threat to democracy.
Golden Dawn tapped Greeks' anger at traditional parties over the country's economic collapse, record unemployment and a rise in crime.
The party claims it is a victim of a politically-motivated witch hunt by the government to rob it of votes.
Police have found unlicensed weapons and Nazi memorabilia in searches of homes of arrested members but the party, whose emblem resembles a swastika, rejects the neo-Nazi label.
The poll showed Golden Dawn remains more popular that the once-mighty socialist Pasok party, a junior partner in Prime Minister Antonis Samaras' coalition government, which ranked fourth with 7 percent.
The conservative New Democracy party which leads the ruling coalition ranked first with 25.8 percent followed by the anti-bailout leftist Syriza party with 24.8 percent.Last Mod: 06 Ekim 2013, 09:51