pic via astirn at flickr.com

If you are in the country imposing it on others, it can help you get re-elected.

Chancellor Angela Merkel scored a stunning personal triumph in Sunday’s national elections in Germany, becoming the only major leader to be re-elected twice since the financial crisis of 2008 and winning strong popular endorsement for her mix of austerity and solidarity in managing troubled Europe.

But if you are in a country that had austerity imposed upon it…

Golden Dawn, which has seen its popularity soar on the back of debt-stricken Greece’s worst crisis in modern times, has not only set up a military wing but is actively training its members in the art of combat.

“In Golden Dawn we have an entire military structure with at least 3,000 people ready for everything,” one member was quoted as saying by the Sunday Vima newspaper. Pictures of recruits in camouflage and balaclavas conducting night exercises in clandestine camps were published in another leading daily on Monday. The paper, Ethnos, claimed the men, some of who were armed with knives and wooden clubs, were being trained by members of Greece’s elite special forces who sympathise with the ultra-nationalist party.

Short-term planning wins again.