Keep up with the news by installing RT’s extension for . Never miss a story with this clean and simple app that delivers the latest headlines to you.

 

Greek govt cracks down on neo-Nazi Golden Dawn party, arrests leader

Published time: September 28, 2013 13:33
Edited time: September 30, 2013 10:25

Supporters and members of extreme-right Golden Dawn party hold Greek national flags as they sing the national anthem outside the Greek police headquarters in Athens September 28, 2013 (Reuters / John Kolesidis)

Download video (6.76 MB)

Greek police have arrested the leader, several MPs and dozens of members of ultra-right Golden Dawn party on charges of leading a “criminal organization.” The party promised to respond with mass rallies of its supporters.

Greek police issued arrest warrants for Golden Dawn leader Nikos Michaloliakos, party spokesman and MP Ilias Kassidiairis, two other prominent members, at least five other party MPs, as well as number of ordinary party members.

“The Secretary General and one lawmaker of the Golden Dawn Party were arrested a short while ago after arrest warrants were issued,” Greek police informed journalists.

Police have detained about 30 members of the ultra-right party, which won 18 seats in the Greek parliament in the June 2012 elections, having received close to 7 percent of the popular vote.

Leader of far-right Golden Dawn party Nikolaos Mihaloliakos (Reuters / Yannis Behrakis)

"Democracy in Greece is strong," Justice Minister Haralambos Athanassiou said after meeting with Prime Minister Antonis Samaras and Public Order Minister Nikos Dendias. "All those arrested will have a fair trial,” he said.

In response to the crackdown, the neo-Nazi party called on to its supporters to “resist unlawfulness.”

“We call upon everyone to support our moral and just struggle against the corrupt system,” a statement said on the party’s website.

The ultra-right party faced a public backlash after the Sept. 18 murder of 34-year-old anti-fascist rapper Pavlos Fyssas, who was stabbed to death in Keratsini by George Roupakias, 45, an avowed supporter of Golden Dawn.

In the aftermath of the killing, the government signaled it would take a tough line against the neo-Nazi party.

Supporters and members of extreme-right Golden Dawn party shout slogans outside the Greek police headquarters in Athens September 28, 2013 (Reuters / John Kolesidis)

"This government is determined not to allow the descendants of the Nazis to poison our social life, to commit crimes, terrorize and undermine the foundations of the country that gave birth to democracy," Prime Minister Antonis Samaras said in a televised address a day after the killing.

The man who allegedly murdered the rapper confessed to the killing when detained by police, and volunteered that he had links to Golden Dawn. The party, however, denied any links to the murderer and the killing.

After the killing, an investigation revealed that sympathetic members of Greek law enforcement agencies had helped to train the Golden Dawn party’s paramilitary wing. As a result nine police officers, including two high-ranking officials, were fired while two senior police officials resigned for “personal reasons.”

The murder of the anti-fascist activist sparked mass protests nationwide as people held street protests to express their anger with the murder, clashing with police on Wednesday night.

Supporters of the extreme far-right Golden Dawn party hold Greek flags as riot police tries to move them away during a protest in solidarity of the arrested lawmakers in front of the police headquarters in Athens on September 28, 2013 (AFP Photo / Angelos Tzortzinis)

The anti-fascist mass rallies apparently prompted the Greek government to launch a crackdown on the members of Golden Dawn, reportedly including wiretapping party members.

But Mihaloliakos and other leaders of Golden Dawn appeared to be defiant ahead of their arrest.

“We will exhaust any means within our legal constitutional rights to defend our political honor,” Mihaloliakos told reporters on Thursday.

On Friday, Golden Dawn threatened to pull its 18 MPs out of parliament in protest against the murder accusations, a move that could potentially prompt by-elections in 15 regions of the country and – if the opposition were to win those elections – it could threaten the small majority of the ruling coalition, which currently controls 155 seats in the 300-seat parliament.

Lawmaker of extreme-right Golden Dawn party Nikolaos Mihos (L) is escorted by a police officer as he arrives at the Greek police headquarters in Athens September 28, 2013 (Reuters / John Kolesidis)

A good result for the opposition could mean that the ruling coalition would become politically untenable, The Guardian reported Mihaloliakos as saying Friday.

"Golden Dawn holds a weapon in its hands to cause a political earthquake. Those in charge should bear that well in mind," Mihaloliakos said.

Greece's finance minister downplayed the political risks of arrests of the Golden Dawn party members.

“There is no risk of destabilization," Finance Minister Yannis Stournaras told reporters on Saturday.

On Saturday, the ultranationalists called on their supporters to rally outside the police headquarters in Athens where their leaders were being held.

“Shame on them, the people will lift Golden Dawn higher," Golden Dawn MP Ilias Panagiotaros told reporters shortly before his own arrest.

Supporters of the extreme far-right Golden Dawn party hold Greek flags and shout slogans during a protest in solidarity of the arrested lawmakers in front of the police headquarters of Greek Police, in Athens, on September 28, 2013 (AFP Photo / Angelos Tzortzinis)

The Golden Dawn party has expressed open hostility toward left-wing opponents and immigrants in Greece, championing slogans such as “clean up the stench,” and “Greece for the Greeks.” They have pledged to eject all immigrants from Greece and secure Greece’s borders with landmines and armed patrols. The party has also opposed austerity measures introduced in exchange for bailout credits from the EU, IMF and European Central Bank – the so-called “Troika”. 

The arrests of Golden Dawn leaders are the largest crackdown against a political party in Greece since the fall of the neo-fascist military junta in 1974.

Comments (44)

 

Hans Sprungfeld 04.03.2014 03:35

Golden Dawn was elected by the people of Greece. Ironically it was some slimeball jew Lauder that heads the Jewish world council that wanted to have them arrested. These zionists can't help themselves, their specialty is interfering in all countries and genociding the locals in support of all the invaders. They would murder every Greek to protect the invading illegals along with their zionist jewish infiltrators as well. Google Barbara Spectre and you get the idea of what jews are responsible for in Europe and why they are hated so much. Golden Dawn is the result of jewish immigration policies put in place by jews.

 

Peter Rolland 30.09.2013 15:48

Peter Rolland 30.09.2013 15:47

obama is more nazi then they he ned only a two fingers mustage

  



 

Peter Rolland 30.09.2013 15:47

obama is more nazi then they

View all comments (44)
Add comment

Authorization required for adding comments

Register or

Name

Password

Show password

Register

or Register

Request a new password

Send

or Register

To complete a registration check
your Email:

OK

or Register

A password has been sent to your email address

Edit profile

X

Name

New password

Retype new password

Current password

Save

Cancel

Follow us

Follow us