Immunity stripped from 5 additional Golden Dawn lawmakers

Greece’s parliament removed immunity from another five lawmakers from the neo-Nazi Golden Dawn party. The move brings to 13 the number of Golden Dawn lawmakers facing prosecution as part of Greece’s widespread crackdown on a party that authorities describe as a criminal organization. Prosecutors have described  Golden Dawn as a structured organization that operates along military lines, inspired by the ideals of national socialism. The party had 18 lawmakers in the 300-member parliament, but recently dropped to 16 after one member quit, saying he was unaware of the organization’s illegal activities, and a second was expelled amid reports he planned to quit too. Meanwhile, a top aide to Prime Minister Antonis Samaras resigned following the release of video that appeared to show him telling Golden Dawn lawmakers that the government was pressuring the courts to jail party members.

via jta: Immunity stripped from 5 additional Golden Dawn lawmakers

Greek neo-Nazi suspects on trial for murder of Pakistani

Two suspected members of the Greek neo-Nazi party Golden Dawn went on trial on Wednesday accused of stabbing a 27-year-old Pakistani man to death. Dionyssis Liakopoulos, 25, and Christos Steriopoulos, 29, risk a life sentence if found guilty of the drive-by killing of Shehzad Luqman in Athens last January. They were arrested a few hours after the murder when a taxi driver who witnessed the attack reported their motorbike numberplate to police. According to the driver, the pair drove up behind the victim and assaulted him as he cycled near the Athens Acropolis. A search of Liakopoulos’ home uncovered leaflets from the neo-Nazi party Golden Dawn, according a to a police source. Both men deny being members of the party.

via tribune: Greek neo-Nazi suspects on trial for murder of Pakistani

Golden Dawn Stages Rally Over Mosque Construction In Athens

The far-right Golden Dawn stages a protest over the Greek government’s plans to build a mosque in Athens. But the Greek Deputy Prime Minister says the mosque will go ahead as planned. Supporters of Greece’s far-right Golden Dawn party held a protest on Saturday (December 14) against long-awaited plans by the government to build a mosque in the capital Athens. The black-clad protesters, who carried Greek flags and banners with anti-mosque slogans, chanted “Greece belongs to Greeks. Victory or death” as they listened to a feverish speech by party spokesman and lawmaker Ilias Kasidiaris. “This very moment, Golden Dawn with this massive and dynamic demonstration expresses the great, pan-Hellenic demand. Not one illegal mosque in the Greek territory,” said Kasidiaris. In November the government announced the consortium that had won a tender to build the mosque, a project that has been on the books for decades but never carried out. Athens has not had a formal mosque since Greece won independence from the occupying Ottoman empire in 1832, and has been criticized by human rights groups such as Amnesty International for being one of the few European capitals without one. The issue has been repeatedly stalled due to opposition by Greek orthodox clerics and Greek residents. The far-right Golden Dawn party has threatened to block the plan and one local bishop, Seraphim of Piraeus, has taken the issue to Greece’s top administrative court, the Council of State.

via Golden Dawn Stages Rally Over Mosque Construction In Athens

Italian football fans pay homage to Greek neo-Nazis

Dozens of Italian football fans raised huge Neo-Nazi banners across the “Curva Nord” Olympic stadium in Rome to pay homage to Manolis Kapelonis and Giorgios Foundoulakii, the two Golden Dawn militants killed recently in Athens. The police are investigating.

via searchlight: Italian football fans pay homage to Greek neo-Nazis

The extremism of Greece’s centre ground

Golden Dawn has become a useful tool in the hands of those who try to equate neo-Nazism with the anti-bailout movement. Walter Benjamin once said that “every fascism is an index of a failed revolution”. In that sense, the election of 21 members of the neo-Nazi party Golden Dawn to the Greek parliament could be characterised as the revolutionary failure of the century. Progressive forces in Greece have indisputably been unable to stop the wave of neoliberal austerity measures imposed by the “troika” (the IMF, European Central Bank and EU). Leftwing politicians and academics predicted the debt crisis and even proposed radical solutions including default and bank nationalisation – but they failed to mobilise Greek society. Their voice was muzzled by the mainstream media, distorted by government officials and, most importantly, nullified by foolish internal antagonisms. (…) Golden Dawn is also alleged to have close relations with the police. Recent reports have suggested that one in two police officers voted for the party and for several years citizens, journalists and politicians have been condemning its relationship with special riot-control The internet is flooded with pictures and videos of uniformed police working side by side with neo-Nazi thugs throwing stones at demonstrators, union members and even journalists. Now the pro-memorandum forces are once more presenting the theory of extremes. They are trying to equate neo-Nazism with the anti-bailout movement. In their daily rhetoric the austerity imposed on eurozone members is identified with Europeanism and whoever disagrees with that position is either a populist or a fascist. Once more Golden Dawn becomes a useful tool in the hands of the financial and media elites. What they tend to forget is that it was the extremism of the centre that actively promoted the neo-Nazi nightmare in the political geography.

via guardian: The extremism of Greece’s centre ground