Greece (Greek: Ελλάδα, Elláda), officially the Hellenic Republic (Greek: Ελληνική Δημοκρατία, Ellinikí Dimokratía), historically also known as Hellas (Ancient Greek: Ἑλλάς) is a country in south-eastern Europe, with a population of approximately 11 million as of 2015. Athens is the nation's capital and largest city, followed by Thessaloniki.

Greece is strategically located at the crossroads of Europe, Asia, and Africa. Situated on the southern tip of the Balkan peninsula, it shares land borders with Albania to the northwest, the Republic of Macedonia and Bulgaria to the north, and Turkey to the northeast. Greece consists of nine geographic regions: Macedonia, Central Greece, the Peloponnese, Thessaly, Epirus, the Aegean Islands (including the Dodecanese and Cyclades), Thrace, Crete, and the Ionian Islands. The Aegean Sea lies to the east of the mainland, the Ionian Sea to the west, the Cretan Sea and the Mediterranean Sea to the south. Greece has the longest coastline on the Mediterranean Basin and the 11th longest coastline in the world at 13,676 km (8,498 mi) in length, featuring a large number of islands, of which 227 are inhabited. Eighty percent of Greece is mountainous, with Mount Olympus being the highest peak at 2,918 metres (9,573 ft.)

For a number of years, Greece has had the highest level of xenophobia, hate crime and influence of right-wing radical organisations. The influx of hundreds of thousands of migrants in a relatively short period of time led to approximately 10% of the Greek population being de-facto national minorities, despite the fact that until 2016 the country generally did not recognise, their presence. For the most part, the state did not ensure their rights. Errors in migration policy, the introduction of a moratorium on granting citizenship, the issuance of residence permits without work permits - all this led to the criminalisation of the immigrant community and demonisation of immigrants in Greek society.

However, situation changed dramatically for the better in 2014. Against the backdrop of increasing violence, representatives of the left wing political spectrum and the authorities took a number of tough measures against both the Golden Dawn party and members of various other radical nationalist groups. This was accompanied by the reform of anti-extremist and anti-racist legislation and the intensification of the fight against hate crimes.

As a result, the number of such crimes has been sharply decreasing between 2014 and 2016. During that period, no racially motivated murder or terrorist act was reported. Greek neo-Nazis, despite the worsening economic and financial climate in this period, did not receive the expected increase in supporters.

In January 2015, Greek national elections took place. The elections were held earlier than scheduled due to the failure of the Greek parliament to elect a new president on 29 December 2014. The elections can be described as a momentous electoral contest for a number of reasons. First, a party of the radical left, SYRIZA (Συνασπισμός Ριζοσπαστικός Αριστεράς; Coalition of the Radical Left) received more votes than any other party associated with the traditional left in the history of nationwide election contests in Greece with 36 percent of the vote securing 149 out of the 300 seats, 2 seats short of an absolute majority.

Embarking on a pre-election campaign against the harsh austerity measures and policies, large categories of the population, the Greek youth, and the middle class of the country voted in favor of it. Secondly, neo-Nazi Golden Dawn-Popular Association (Λαϊκός Σύνδεσμος-Χρυσή Αυγή; GD) losing one seat, emerged as the third-largest party in Greek politics with 6.3 percent of the vote, earning 17 seats in parliament, after the second place of the conservative ND [Νέα Δημοκρατία-New Democracy), in spite of the imprisonment of its leader and other elected deputies or pending trial for affiliations with criminal gangs. Its victory can be interpreted as a consolidation of its electoral support not as a mere protest or a discontent of citizens but as a result encapsulating inside an extreme, stable racist ideology. With the victory of Syriza, Golden Dawn and the rightwing populist party ANEL (Ανεξάρτητοι Έλληνες; Independent Greeks), the result can be interpreted as a continuation of the trend observed during the European elections of 2014 with the victory of populist Eurosceptic forces, reflecting both a dramatic change in Greek public opinion, which up until four years ago was one of the most pro-European in the continent.

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