Murderous Greek Golden Dawn nazis convicted

This 14 October 2020 video says about itself:

A member of the far-right Golden Dawn party has been handed a life sentence for the 2013 murder of a rapper.

Yiorgos Roupakias was found guilty of the murder. Other senior members of the group were also given jail terms.

That includes the head of Golden Dawn, Nikos Mihaloliakos, who has been sentenced to 13 years in prison.

The group is now considered a criminal organisation.

By Kevin Ovenden in Athens, Greece:

Greek neonazi leaders sentenced to 13 years jail in historic victory for anti-fascist movement

THE leadership of neo-nazi party Golden Dawn have been sentenced to hefty 13-year jail terms in a historic victory for the anti-fascist movement in Greece and internationally.

Would-be fuehrer Nikolaos Michaloliakos and five other former MPs received that sentence, two years short of the maximum, today for “directing a criminal organisation.” A seventh got 10 years. They constitute the fascist party’s whole executive committee.

The panel of three judges in the most important trial of Nazi criminality since Nuremberg will next consider applications to suspend those and other sentences of the 57 Golden Dawn convicts pending appeals, or instead to issue arrest warrants and send them to jail.

Appeal hearings could be years away. Lawyers for Golden Dawn’s victims insist that vindication for their clients and for democratic public opinion in Greece depends on the neonazis being jailed.

It is also a matter of public safety, according to anti-fascist campaigners. One convicted leader is Ilias Kasidiaris, who has set up one of several breakaway Golden-Dawn-lite parties looking to take up its mantle.

He became notorious for assaulting female left MP Liana Kanelli on TV in 2012. A botched state prosecution meant he was not convicted.

Other sentences include five to seven years for the 20 convicted principally for membership of a mafia-type organisation, and life imprisonment for the murderer of anti-racist rapper Pavlos Fyssas. His co-perpetrators got seven to 10 years. That crime in 2013 led to the popular eruption that forced a conservative-led government to prosecute Golden Dawn.

Those guilty of the attempted murder of Egyptian fisherman Abouzid Embarak got seven to 10 years; of the attack on trade unionists of the Pame organisation, two years — the maximum sentence was three.

Mr Embarak’s lawyer, Thanasis Kampagiannis, said, “The sentences for the leaders are stiff, but not the strictest. The penalties for those involved in the criminal organisation and for the perpetrators of individual crimes are lower than what is appropriate.”

The Communist Party of Greece said similarly and added: “These sentences must be applied immediately to put the Nazi criminals in prison.”

There was little doubt that if that did not happen, then popular indignation would burst onto the streets as it has done repeatedly in driving through the conviction of Golden Dawn that parts of the Greek state fought to avoid.

In any case, anti-racist campaigners of the Keerfa coalition and others are to hold two days of action this weekend in solidarity with refugees held by the state in inhuman camps and to build on the court victory.

On Monday, the Greek equivalent of the Daily Telegraph newspaper ran a feature on how respected lawyer Dimitris Zotos first brought a suit to have Golden Dawn declared a criminal gang in 1996 on behalf of socialist activists assaulted by the neonazis. He was also part of this prosecution under the same penal article.

We might well imagine that Pavlos Fyssas and others would be alive today had the state authorities not blocked Mr Zotos’s legal action 24 years ago.

No-one in Greek public life can honestly claim that they did not know. This week, international labour movement opinion certainly knows.

Greek nazis are criminals, court decides

Magda Fyssa (centre) the mother of late Greek rap singer Pavlos Fyssas, who was stabbed and killed by a supporter of the extreme right Golden Dawn party in 2013 triggering a crackdown on the party, celebrates immediately after the delivery of the verdict of a court in Athens

Magda Fyssa (centre) the mother of late Greek rap singer Pavlos Fyssas, who was stabbed and killed by a supporter of the extreme-right Golden Dawn party in 2013 triggering a crackdown on the party, celebrates immediately after the delivery of the verdict of a court in Athens.

From daily The Morning Star in Britain today:

Editorial: The Golden Dawn verdicts are a victory that should encourage anti-fascists everywhere

THE verdict that Greece’s fascist Golden Dawn party is a criminal organisation is a huge victory for the Greek left and international anti-fascism.

It is a vindication of years of work to mobilise against fascism and isolate the neonazi party.

And it’s a win for popular pressure that forced a reluctant Greek state to take action – pressure symbolised by the thousands who rallied outside the courthouse today, and reluctance symbolised by the state prosecutor who recommended that the charge that Golden Dawn was a criminal organisation should be dropped and the specific crimes committed considered as the acts of individuals.

Those crimes are a showcase of the targets prioritised by fascists. The murder of the anti-fascist rapper Pavlos Fyssas. The attempted murder of an immigrant fisherman. The attempted murder of a metalworkers’ trade-union leader and communist.

The fascists had friends in high places: the communist trade-union leader Sotiris Poulikogiannis pointed during the trial to Golden Dawn’s co-ordination with shipyard owners who wanted its help in smashing the militant union in their workplace. Lawyer Thanasis Kampagiannis has described the back channels that existed between Golden Dawn and the mainstream conservative party New Democracy – which forms the current Greek government.

They were defeated not by Greek officialdom but by years of community organising and anti-fascist unity to build what Kampagiannis calls a “democratic wall” to stop them. That is why Golden Dawn lost every parliamentary seat it had last year.

That mobilisation will need to continue. Illegality is a serious blow to fascists, but these dealers in death were already criminals.

Street violence is part of the core strategy of fascism. Mussolini’s Blackshirts were identified by Hitler as the key innovation of the original Fascist Party. Golden Dawn’s now convicted leader Nikos Mihaloliakos spoke to this truth when responding to election defeat: “We return where we became strong, on the streets and squares, in the tough struggle against Bolshevism.”

Violence precedes and underlies all its forays into “official” politics – as in India, where Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s BJP was formed as the political wing of the RSS Hindu nationalist paramilitary organisations. To this day they act as his boots on the ground, breaking up opposition meetings, setting on and killing political opponents as the murder last weekend of Keralan communist organiser PU Sanoop illustrates.

Internationally fascism is far from dead. India’s BJP, with its virulent xenophobia, bids to rewrite history to erase non-Hindus from the national story and routine use of violence, is the governing party in the modern world closest to the classic model of fascism. But the threat also exists elsewhere.

Germany, reeling from an anti-semitic attempted murder whose suspected perpetrator carried a swastika in his pocket, has been forced to disband its entire elite KSK military unit – the German army’s equivalent to the SAS – because of officers’ links to far-right terror.

In the United States, gun-toting white supremacists march against Black Lives Matter demonstrators: when they kill, as Kyle Rittenhouse did in Kenosha, Wisconsin, they receive warm words from a US president who has also called on the far-right Proud Boys to “stand by” in an election whose official result he will not commit to accepting. In Britain, racists block the roads from Dover and the Home Secretary panders to them by calling on the navy to keep out refugees.

The left internationally should look to Greece for our response. Liberal officialdom will appease and collaborate: the socialist left must organise against fascism as only we can, since socialists understand the real causes of the fears fascists prey on, which lie in the insecurity and misery created by the capitalist system. Yet understanding those fears and offering real solutions does not mean giving an inch to the fascists’ lies.

As Communist Party of Greece general secretary Dimitris Koutsoumbas quoted after the verdict: “Understand fascism – it will not die by itself. Crush it.”

Greek nazis’ anti-refugees violence

This video says about itself:

8 July 2013

Thug Politics – Greece: The rise of the Golden Dawn political party, they claim they are saving modern Greece, but are they preaching a neo-nazi ideology?

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

Greece: Fascist attack on school preparing for refugees

Thursday 19th January 2017

GREEK trade unions have condemned Tuesday’s attack by Golden Dawn fascists on a primary school meeting to prepare for the reception of 27 refugee children.

The thugs stormed the Iconio primary school in the Perama district of the port city of Piraeus, outside Athens.

Communist trade union front Pame said they were led by a Golden Dawn MP accused of involvement in the murder of anti-fascist campaigner Pavlos Fyssas.

“The Piraeus workers and the whole country have accepted the refugee children in schools alongside their own children,” a statement on behalf of nine Pame affiliates in the city read.

“The vast majority of people understand that the refugees are forced to leave their countries,” it said.

“We urge every parent to isolate the neonazi criminals.

“We call on the workers of the Piraeus region to welcome the refugee children like our own, and to strengthen our struggle against war.”

‘We will cut your throats’: The anatomy of Greece’s lynch mobs. With anti-migrant violence hitting a fever pitch, victims ask why Greek authorities have carried out so few arrests: here.

Greek nazis’ anti-refugee violence

This video from Greece says about itself:

Scuffles on Chios over overcrowded migrant camp

15 September 2016

A demonstration [by Golden Dawn neonazis] against the Greek government’s handling of the migrant crisis turned violent on the island of Chios on Wednesday night (September 14).

The Golden Dawn nazis bring reinforcements from elsewhere in Greece to Chios for their anti-refugee violence. They even bring reinforcements from other countries: a delegation of politicians of the Belgian extreme right Vlaams Belang party joined Golden Dawn on Chios during the violence. Vlaams Belang MP Filip Dewinter did a speech at a Golden Dawn meeting on Chios.

By John Vassilopoulos:

Greek fascists attack refugee camp

24 November 2016

Dozens of refugees were forced to flee the Souda refugee camp on the island of Chios last Thursday after a brutal attack by Golden Dawn members.

According to reports, the attack began at around 9:30 pm and lasted until the early hours of the morning. The fascists threw petrol bombs, large boulders and fireworks into the camp from surrounding elevated areas. A 42-year-old Syrian man was assaulted and a Nigerian boy was injured by one of the rocks. Three tents were burnt down and three more were damaged.

Afraid to return to the camp, the refugees that fled slept at the fishing market that night when temperatures dropped to 8 degrees Celsius. Many were still there three days later, according to reports.

On learning of the attacks, a group of aid workers rushed to help the refugees. One of these, Alexandros Panagiotakis, told CNN Greece that the group “came upon around 150 migrants at the fish market where they had sought safety from the far-right attackers. [Another aid worker and I] went to get our cars so that we could transport the migrants to a safer place.”

On their way to get their cars Panagiotakis and his colleague were set upon by a mob of 30 Golden Dawn members, who attacked them verbally and physically. “They threw us down and started to kick and swear at us,” said Panagiotakis. “They stopped only when a riot police squad arrived. They hit me on my sides and legs and the girl [the other aid worker] was semi-conscious. We were taken immediately to hospital.”

Similar attacks had taken place the previous evening, when Golden Dawn members armed with makeshift clubs and crowbars attacked refugees outside the Souda refugee camp while large stones were also thrown into the camp. According to reports a 25 year-old Algerian man is still in intensive care after being hit in the head.

In covering the events, the media lay the blame on the refugees by claiming that the troubles on Wednesday evening began after a group of migrants broke into a fireworks shop and then reportedly proceeded to set them off towards police and local residents. Refugees who spoke to Greek daily I Efimerida Ton Syntakton (Ef.Syn.) paint a different picture and claim that the trouble started two hours before when a group of locals attacked a group of Algerians sitting at the Chios public park. “The group had firecrackers and started to throw them [at the refugees] for no reason,” said a Syrian refugee.

The wave of violence was in fact stoked by the visit of Golden Dawn MPs Ilias Kasidiaris and Yiannis Lagos to Chios on Tuesday, where they spoke at a public meeting that evening calling for mass deportations of all refugees and migrants. This was part of a wider tour with a similar event taking place on the neighbouring island of Lesbos. Kasidiaris and Lagos were accompanied by a delegation of parliamentarians from Belgium, members of the Flemish far-right Vlaams Belang party.

There are currently more than 16,000 refugees and migrants being detained in refugee camps on Greek islands in the Aegean, while existing infrastructure is only adequate for around 7,500 people. The overwhelming majority have fled from the imperialist-driven conflicts in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan. In Chios alone there are 4,000 refugees and migrants–nearly four times more than the current capacity.

Overcrowding is directly linked to the March agreement between the European Union and Turkey, which stipulates that Turkey take back all refugees who come across the Aegean to Greece. As a result, refugee camps in Greece have become internment camps of people–most of whom are destined to be deported back to Turkey after their cases have been assessed. The process is extremely slow, and meanwhile arrivals continue to flow in, which places even more pressure on existing infrastructure. According to figures from the International Organisation for Migration (IOM), nearly 3,000 people crossed into Greece from Turkey in the last four weeks alone.

The Golden Dawn meetings sought to exploit tensions among sections of the local population, partly due to the increase in petty theft as a result of the economic desperation of the migrant and refugee population and partly due to the effects the refugee crisis has had on the tourist industry, the backbone of the local economy. Their timing was also designed to cause maximum provocation, given that they coincided with the commemoration of the student uprising against the military junta on November 17, 1973.

A counter-protest was held that same evening in Chios, with around 200 people holding a march through the island’s main town towards the Grecian Castle Hotel where the Golden Dawn meeting was taking place. The demonstrators’ path was blocked by riot police.

According to various accounts from eyewitnesses, the attacks on Wednesday and Thursday were carried out under the nose of the police, despite their having been officially placed on high alert since the Golden Dawn meeting on Tuesday. Riot police only intervened to stop Thursday’s attacks on the camp in the early hours of the morning, after they had gone on for five hours. There was a notable delay in police intervening in the attack on the two aid workers, which took place a few metres away from two patrol cars.

Tolerance of far-right attacks by the Greek police, delaying intervention or letting perpetrators get away, is a common occurrence. Golden Dawn enjoys substantial support among officers, especially in riot police units. Three years ago rapper Pavlos Fyssas was murdered in Keratsini by a Golden Dawn member while police stood near-by and did nothing.

The police have arrested none of the perpetrators. The only people arrested so far were 37 refugees and three foreign aid workers during the altercations on Wednesday evening.

In a speech to his parliamentary group, Golden Dawn leader Nikos Michaloliakos openly defended the attacks while railing against the “progressive journalists of this country who lay the blame at the door of far-right elements.” He added, “You know what? Yes! For them every Greek that resists is a Golden Dawn member. For us that’s a badge of honour. Golden Dawn is the national defence of Greece.”

Like their far-right counterparts throughout Europe, Golden Dawn has been emboldened by the victory of the fascistic Donald Trump in the United States—which Michaloliakos referred to in his speech as “a true victory against globalisation.”

Refugee mother and children die in fire in Lesbos refugee camp: here. And here.

Greek fascist ex-dictator Pattakos dies

This video is called 08/09/1975: GREECE: A YEAR AFTER THE COLONELS.

By John Vassilopoulos:

Stylianos Pattakos (1912-2016): Leader of Greece’s CIA-backed military junta

7 November 2016

Stylianos Pattakos, the last surviving leader of the 21 April 1967 coup that imposed a seven-year military dictatorship in Greece, died from a stroke in his Athens home on October 8, one month before his 104th birthday. Brigadier-General Pattakos was one of the three masterminds of the coup, alongside Colonels Giorgos Papadopoulos and Nikolaos Makarezos.

As Interior Minister between 1967 and 1971 and Deputy Prime Minister between 1971 and 1973, Pattakos was the junta’s number two after Papadopoulos. Under his watch, 87,000 people were arrested without charge and tortured while in custody, and 10,000 political prisoners were rounded up and incarcerated, many on the concentration camp on the island of Gyaros. At least 22 people died while in custody due to torture, while many others died of their injuries after being released.

The regime carried out targeted assassinations of nearly 100 people, while around 4,500 were tried by court martial.

Pattakos defended the crimes of the junta of the colonels to the end. One high-profile case was that of Major Spiros Moustaklis, an Army officer arrested in May 1973 as a member of an anti-junta conspiracy led by naval officers. Moustaklis was detained for 47 days and repeatedly tortured, resulting in paralysis and loss of speech. Years later, during an interview, Pattakos stated that Moustaklis “got what he deserved,” adding that “force is imposed by any means. What can’t be untied must be cut with a sword.”

Pattakos was born on November 8, 1912 on the island of Crete to a farming family in the small village of Ayia Paraskevi. He graduated from the Evelpidon Military academy in 1937 with the rank of Second Lieutenant in the Cavalry.

During the Axis Occupation of Greece in World War II, Pattakos joined the “Omiros” resistance organisation, supervised by the Cairo-based Inter-Services Liaison Department (ISLD), an intelligence-gathering organisation established by the British overseas spy agency MI6. He took part in the 1946-1949 Greek Civil War on the side of the US and British forces, commanding an armoured company in Northern Greece …

He steadily rose through the ranks, so that by the time of the coup, he was commander of the armoured division training school in Goudi, an Athens suburb. This post was of strategic importance, since it was on his orders that tanks were sent in the early hours of the morning to take control of communication centres, the parliament and the royal palace, thus gaining complete control of the city.

Plans for a coup had long been in the offing. Since 1965, Armed Forces Head General Grigoris Spandidakis had begun to appoint those officers who were to take part in the coup to key posts. The aim of the coup, planned with the US Embassy and the CIA station in Greece, was to prevent the elections scheduled for May 1967, the chief beneficiaries of which were predicted to be the liberal Centre Union Party and the United Democratic Left (EDA) …

The fear in ruling circles was that a coalition government of these two parties could shift Greece’s foreign policy towards neutrality between NATO and the Soviet Union.

Under the plan of the so-called Generals’ coup, Greek King Constantine was to declare martial law and suspend parliament in order to prevent the poll from taking place. In the end, the coup was unilaterally set in motion by lower-ranking officers, who feared that vacillations of the army leadership and the king in imposing martial law would prevent them for moving fast enough to halt the elections.

To some of his co-conspirators who were getting cold feet at the last minute, Pattakos reportedly said: “Listen here gentlemen, I have already set tanks in motion, I can’t order them back. I will move alone, and whoever wants can follow.”

After the fall of the junta in July 1974, Pattakos and the other leaders of the regime were put on trial. In August 1975, the court found them guilty of high treason and sentenced them to death by firing squad. These sentences were later commuted to life imprisonment by the conservative New Democracy (ND) government of Constantinos Karamanlis.

In 1990, Pattakos was released from prison on humanitarian grounds by the ND-led Mitsotakis government due to an apparent “imminent danger to his health.” This was, of course, a juridical fraud that allowed Pattakos to return to political life. He lived for another quarter century and wrote a number of autobiographical works. For a time, he authored a regular column in the far-right newpaper Eleftheros Kosmos, as well as giving a series of TV and newspaper interviews.

Far-right circles cultivated a myth that Pattakos and the other junta leaders selflessly sacrificed themselves for the good of Greece. They pointed to Pattakos’ relatively modest personal standard of living, due to his conviction after the fall of the junta—though, while in power during the junta, he awarded lucrative construction projects to his brother-in-law, Andreas Meintasis, who became very rich.

At the end of his life, Pattakos supported the violent, neo-Nazi Golden Dawn party. He told Parapolitika in 2012, “Golden Dawn is here to stay,” as it “is the only party that is up to the challenge.” Golden Dawn sent an official delegation to Pattakos’ funeral, including MP Konstantinos Barbarousis as well as local Golden Dawn officials.

Greek nazis on trial for murdering rapper

This video says about itself:

Nazi Sunset Golden Dawn – trailer

13 February 2014

Why would you vote for the political descendants of murderers? Across Greece, villages that were once destroyed by the Nazis and their Greek collaborators are now voting to give Neo-Nazis power. Tracing the direct line between Nazism and Golden Dawn, this film provides a unique insight into the party. It is a terrifying look at Greek Nazi history in all its horror and why political memory is so important. How can the Greeks have forgotten their past so quickly?

By Robert Stevens:

Murder trial implicates leadership of fascist Golden Dawn in Greece

13 October 2015

The mother of slain anti-fascist hip-hop musician Pavlos Fyssas testified last week in the trial of members of Greece’s fascist Golden Dawn (Chrysi Avgi) party, who stand accused of having carried out her son’s murder.

Top Golden Dawn figures, including leader Nikos Michaloliakos, are accused of being part of a criminal organisation. Their trial is being held at a purpose-built court in Korydallos Prison, Piraeus, where Michaloliakos and five other Golden Dawn parliamentary deputies have been in custody since late 2013.

Fyssas was surrounded by a group of Golden Dawn members and stabbed to death in September 2013, at a café in Keratsini, near Piraeus. Golden Dawn member Giorgos Roupakias is charged with the murder.

On October 6, Fyssas’ mother, Magda, described Roupakias as “a trained killer.” Roupakias arrived in a car at the café with three other people, but dozens of Golden Dawn members and supporters were already there, she explained. “They cornered [Pavlos] and then the murderer came and stabbed him. He got out of the car and stabbed him twice in the heart.”

She believed Golden Dawn parliamentary deputy Yiannis Lagos played a central role in her son’s murder. “Lagos gave the order. He gave the OK,” Magda said, adding that Michaloliakos had “the ultimate responsibility.”

The same day as Magda gave her testimony, the Efimerida ton Syntakton newspaper posted a video showing Giorgos Patelis, the leader of Golden Dawn’s Nikaia branch, telling a crowd of party supporters about a planned attack at an upcoming fair. In the video, which was not allowed to be heard in court, he states that before the attack can go ahead the order had to come from Lagos.

On the night of Fyssas’s murder, Patelis spoke on the telephone with Lagos.

In the video, whose origin and date are not yet known, Patelis tells Golden Dawn supporters to be ready for an attack at a fair on August 15. He states, “Certain people will get a message on the 15th of the month. … If I get the OK from Lagos. If I don’t, we don’t do it”. Patelis adds, “Whatever they tell us, we must do it.”

Describing what will happen, Patelis says, “A group of 20-30 people will leave from here fully loaded… Nothing will be left standing, nothing! Anything that moves gets slaughtered.”

On the second day of her testimony, Magda Fyssas revealed how Roupakias was treated with kid gloves after being arrested following the murder. She said that Roupakias told police as he was being taken into a police car, “Okay guys, I’m one of your own.”

When he was asked if he too was a police officer, Roupakias replied, “I am from Golden Dawn.”

Magda said she had inside information that when Roupakias was in the police station he was so familiar with the surroundings that police officers mistook him for an employee. When news came through that her son had died in the attack, Roupakias requested he be taken to another part of the police station. She said officers told him to walk up to the third floor on his own: “That is how familiar the environment was to him.”

Golden Dawn is brazen about the murder of Pavlos Fyssas. Just prior to September’s general election, Michaloliakos stated that the party “assumes political responsibility” for Fyssas’s murder.

Golden Dawn has been built up by the state in recent years to provide shock battalions to be hurled against the working class. It placed third in the most recent election, winning 18 seats in the 300-seat parliament with 7 percent of the vote, up slightly from 6.3 percent in January. Overall, it won 379,581 votes, down from 388,387 in January.

Golden Dawn does not have extensive support in Athens and the main urban centres. But as mass austerity has ravaged Greece’s population, it has been able to win a response from layers of the middle class and lumpen workers and youth. Recently it has been exploiting opposition to the arrival of refugees fleeing war and persecution, increasing its vote in Greece’s eastern islands including the third largest, Lesbos. But even on the island of Symi, which has only 2,000 permanent residents but has received 5,500 refugees since March, its vote only climbed from 6.5 to 10.7 percent.

Golden Dawn is clearly not a mass party, but the threat it poses to the working class is real and growing. As the trial of its members reveals, Golden Dawn has extensive ties to the state.

Last year, Panayiotis Baltakos, then cabinet secretary of Greece’s main conservative party, New Democracy, was forced to resign following leaked footage of a conversation between himself and Golden Dawn MP Ilias Kasiadiaris. Baltakos was a confidante of then Prime Minister Antonis Samaras and effectively the number two figure in his government.

Golden Dawn also has well-known ties to the police, especially its riot squad. When the party first won seats in parliament in 2012, election data revealed that close to 50 percent of police officers voted for the party.

At the height of Greece’s financial and political crisis in 2012, Golden Dawn’s members and supporters went on the rampage on an almost daily basis in Athens and other cities. The police turned a blind eye, as immigrants and political opponents were assaulted. A number of the assaults were even led by some of its parliamentary deputies.

Golden Dawn’s ties reach into the highest echelons of the state. In 2014, retired Lieutenant General Eleftherios Synadinos, who once commanded the army’s Special Forces, and Georgios Epitideios, a former director at the European Union Military Staff, stood as European Parliament candidates for the party.

According to their Golden Dawn biographies, Epitideios served as a staff officer at the Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe—the central command of NATO military forces. He served on NATO’s International Military Staff and was director of the department of crisis response and current operations of the European Union Military Staff. …

In his comments on Golden Dawn’s vote, Kasidiaris said the party would only be strengthened because of the social consequences of the further savage austerity that Syriza must impose. The Greek people “have not experienced the worst effects of the memorandum [bailout accord] or illegal immigration,” he said. “When that happens, you will see, Golden Dawn will have a radical increase in support.”

‘European Union austerity will help neo-nazis’

This video says about itself:

Athens protest warns Greek government against debt deal with more austerity

11 June 2015

With Greece under constant international pressure to make more cuts and reforms to secure bailout money – at home there was a strong warning not to cave in.

From daily The Guardian in Britain:

Golden Dawn will be strengthened by more austerity, Yanis Varoufakis warns

The former finance minister told the ABC the bailout agreement is a ‘new form of postmodern occupation’ and predicts Greece will fall into the grip of the far right

Helen Davidson

Tuesday 14 July 2015 06.23 BST

Austerity measures demanded of Greece by its European creditors will strengthen the far right, the country’s former finance minister Yanis Varoufakis has said.

Varoufakis also dubbed the bailout agreement reached in Brussels this week as a new Treaty of Versaille[s], and a coup d’état which used banks instead of tanks.

The Greek government has found itself in a dire political situation after it was forced to accept draconian austerity measures as part of a bailout offer even harsher than the one a national referendum voted no to last week.

The outspoken former minister, who resigned from his role after the national referendum, despite it returning the result he was calling for, told the ABC the far-right Golden Dawn party could “inherit the mantle of the anti-austerity drive, tragically”.

“If our party Syriza, that has cultivated so much hope in Greece – to the extent that we managed to score 61.5% in the recent referendum – if we betray this hope and if we bow our heads to this new form of postmodern occupation, then I cannot see any other possible outcome than the further strengthening of Golden Dawn,” Varoufakis said.

Speaking to Radio National’s Phillip Adams in his first post-resignation interview, Varoufakis also said he “jumped more than he was pushed” when he resigned from the ministry.

Prime minister Alexis Tsipras “didn’t have what it took, sentimentally, emotionally, at that moment, to carry that no vote to Europe and use it as a weapon,” said Varoufakis.

“So I … decided to give him the leeway that he needs to go back to Brussels and strike what he knows to be an impossible deal. A deal that is simply not viable.”

Varoufakis said he stood back to allow his successor, Euclid Tsakolotos, and the Greek negotiating team work in Brussels.

“I know very well what it feels like to walk inside those neon-lit, heartless rooms, full of apparatchiks and bureaucrats who have absolutely no interest in the human cost of decision-making, and to have to struggle against them and come up with something palatable.”

Greece was “set up” by eurozone leaders in dealings to address the economic crisis, Varoufakis later told the New Statesman, adding Germany was responsible for the view of the Eurogroup.

“Oh completely and utterly,” he said. “Not attitudes – the finance minister of Germany. It is all like a very well-tuned orchestra and he is the director.”

Varoufakis has previously accused the EU of putting a bailout of French and German banks ahead of Greece’s socioeconomic viability.

After 15 hours of talks that stretched through Sunday night and into Monday, Greece walked away from the emergency summit of Eurozone leaders with a “compromise” bailout package.

Growing anger at the creditors’ wishlist played out on social media under the hashtag #thisisacoup, as the drastic demands made were presented as the price to pay if Greece was to stay in the European union.

The referendum result, and the government’s about-turn, has shocked Greeks who had overwhelmingly rejected the previous offer.

Varoufakis said he had not expected a no vote, and suggested neither had Tsipras.

“I had assumed, and I believe so had the prime minister, that our support and the no vote would fade exponentially, but the Greek people overcame fear, they set aside their pecuniary interests, they ignored the fact their savings could not be accessed, and they gave a resounding, majestic no to what was in the end an awful ultimatum on behalf of our European partners,” Varoufakis said.

Tsipras must now take the measures, which include VAT reform, spending cuts, a pensions overhaul and €50bn in privatisation, to a hostile Greek parliament.

“This is indeed the politics of humiliation,” said Varoufakis.

By violating its election pledges to end European Union (EU) austerity, Greece’s Syriza-led government is paving the way for the growth of a powerful far-right movement in Greece. After Syriza repudiated the overwhelming no vote in the July 5 referendum on austerity and agreed to impose tens of billions of euros in new austerity measures, this is acknowledged even by members of Syriza: here.

Greek Golden Dawn nazis on trial

This video from Greece says about itself:

Nikos Michaloliakos Nazi Salute at Municipal Council

In the Athens municipal elections in 2010, Nikos Michaloliakos is elected in the municipal council. If there was ever doubt as to whether his organization had abandoned its neonazi views, they quickly disappear: at the end of a council session, the Golden Dawn leader gives everyone the nazi salute.

By Kevin Ovenden:

The time has come to halt fascist barbarism

Saturday 18th April 2015

Not since Nuremberg has Europe seen a trial of fascists on such a scale. They stand accused of terrible crimes – including murder and in the dock of Korydallos prison will be 69 members of Greek neonazi party Golden Dawn, including all 17 of its MPs. Kevin Ovenden has the story.

The most important trial of fascist criminality since Nuremberg starts in Greece on Monday.

Arraigned before the specially constructed court in the grounds of the Korydallos prison, south of Athens, will be 69 members of the Greek neonazi party Golden Dawn, including all 17 of its MPs. The fascists managed to take third place in the general election in January.

Thousands of anti-fascist protesters are set to gather in the area — and more across Greece — on Monday morning in a united show of opposition to fascism, racism and the threat posed by authoritarian elements of the Greek state.

The municipal council in the area is closing all schools and workplaces on the day. The mayor and councillors will join a broad spectrum of MPs, trade unions, immigrant groups and civil society organisations under the umbrella of the anti-fascist movement to march and rally outside the opening of the proceedings.

The public sector union federation ADEDY has called a four-hour strike for the morning so that its members can take part.

Underscoring the sense of unity, the message from two widely covered media conferences this week — one by the KEERFA anti-fascist and anti-racist movement, the other by the powerful Communist Party of Greece (KKE) — was identical: Golden Dawn is a violent criminal organisation masquerading as a political party. The prosecution must be supported. Not a millimetre must be yielded to the fascists’ attempts to relegitimise themselves in Greek public life and present themselves as some kind of anti-Establishment outsiders.

The senior governing party Syriza will hold a public meeting on Tuesday along the same lines with the party’s chief whip Nikos Filis.

It is popular outrage at the fascists, which erupted in September 2013 following the murder of anti-racist rapper Pavlos Fyssas, which is driving the whole process.

While it is the state which has brought the prosecution, it did not do so of its own volition. Just months before Fyssas’s murder the public order minister of the then Antonis Samaras-led government threatened to sue veteran foreign correspondent of the Guardian Helena Smith because she reported how anti-capitalist protesters had been beaten in police cells by officers sympathetic to Golden Dawn.

The murder by Golden Dawn supporters of Pakistani retail worker Shehzad Luqman in January of that year brought thousands onto the streets of Athens, but inertia from a government whose chef de cabinet was in private discussions with the fascist parliamentary group about their inclusion in a possible realignment of political forces on the right.

It was the tens of thousands who took to the streets in September who forced an abrupt about face on the part of the government and the state prosecuting authorities.

Despite the welcome change in government this January, the forces of the radical left and of the anti-racist movement have not forgotten that lesson.

They have skilfully utilised Greek legal procedure so that lawyers of the left and of the movement representing the victims of the fascists’ crimes will be co-plaintiffs in the trial. They will be able to call witnesses, cross-examine and lead evidence. They are also entitled to full disclosure.

Already that means that they have accessed tens of thousands of pages of evidence. The legal intervention by anti-fascist forces is more than a belt and braces approach to avoid a recent botch job by state prosecutors which allowed leading Golden Dawn thug Ilias Kasidiaris to walk free from charges arising from his televised assault three years ago on two women MPs — Liana Kanelli of the Communist Party and Rena Dourou of Syriza.

For on trial also will be the elements within the Greek state and oligarchic employers who have for decades supported Golden Dawn and its predecessors, granting it a sense of virtual immunity.

The previous government carefully set the cut-off date for investigating the fascists’ crimes as 2008. But Golden Dawn has been around since 1986. Its origins lie in the paramilitary Greek right going all the way back through the years of the military dictatorship of 1967-74, the Western-backed war against the Communist Party and the left in the 1940s to the collaborators with the nazi occupation of Greece, which was more brutal than anywhere in Europe outside of Poland and the Soviet Union.

Bringing to the light of day the dark recesses of the Greek deep state is not, as the parliamentary right claim, some vengeful settling of scores from the distant past. (Though why there should be a political statute of limitation on fascist crimes is a question they should be made to answer.) It is a matter of contemporary self-defence.

In the second general election of May 2012 analysis of the polling stations where the police, army officers and similar state personnel vote revealed that possibly 50 percent of the Athenian police force voted for the fascists.

As the jaws of the European Union and troika creditors close in on the government in Athens — and as it vacillates in response — the right is looking to make a comeback. The trial of Golden Dawn and the mass movement which took to the streets to mark UN anti-racism day last month provides a barrier both to the resurgence of the fascists and to the mainstream right renewing its previous flirtation with them.

That leaves the right with a time-honoured authoritarian law and order push. Whether over prison reform, policing or moves to end the inhuman conditions facing many immigrants into Greece, the elected right is seeking collaborators within the deep state and among dubious elements on the government’s side to undermine liberal reforms and to build a front against the government from the right.

Liberal elements of the centre have disgracefully succumbed to this authoritarian push. The parties of the centre left — Pasok and To Potami — this week voted against a Bill liberalising Greece’s cruel prison system.

And some liberal voices have raised the canard that the prosecution of Golden Dawn is in some way a violation of free speech.

But the prosecution has nothing to do with what Golden Dawn thinks or writes. It has to do with its actions, with the crimes it has committed — including murder.

Three major criminal cases are themselves a core part of the wider proceedings. They are the murder of Pavlos Fyssas, the near fatal attack on a group of Egyptian fishermen in the Perama area of Piraeus, the port of Athens, and a similarly ferocious attack in the same area on Communist-organised trade unionists of the PAME inter-union front.

In addition to reaching verdicts on these three crimes, the court will hear evidence about others where there have already been convictions. The prosecution will then seek to show that all of these crimes, committed by Golden Dawn members, are not incidental to their perpetrators’ membership of the organisation, but in fact flow from it.

The gist of the fascists’ defence is that the organisation cannot be held responsible for the criminal activity of its members. But Golden Dawn (GD) is not a chess club, where it would be unreasonable to hold the secretary responsible for the driving offences of one of its players.

The anti-fascist case is that the actual organisation of GD, its core around which all the trappings of a political party are merely a carapace, is a hierarchical, violent gang with a command structure organised on the national-socialist fuehrerprinzip — ie strongman rule from top to bottom.

Under the impetus of the mass movement the media have already publicised pieces of evidence showing that taking an oath containing this and other nazi doctrine is a required part of becoming a GD member.

The primary function in any branch or higher organisation of GD — all the way up to the fuehrer Nikolaos Michalokiakos — is the organisation of “security battalions.” That comes first and has precedence over the treasurer, secretary, press officer and all the other roles which normal parties or trade unions regard as the central officer functions.

Security battalions was the name given to the mass collaborationist force under Hitler’s occupation of Greece which rounded up partisans, Jews and others to be murdered.

There has never been a proper reckoning of the Establishment’s complicity in those crimes, the atrocities of the civil war, the murder of socialists such as MP Grigoris Lambrakis in 1963 (subject of Costa Gavras’s film Z), the junta and the “strategy of tension” violence against the left in the 1970s.

It is in this enforced historical amnesia that Golden Dawn has been allowed for 25 years to burrow silently until the circumstances of economic collapse and complicit, authoritarian, institutionally racist Establishment politicians allowed it to grow out of despair.

Not as principals, but as secondary aiders and abetters, stand the EU and troika bureaucracies in the political scope of this trial.

For it was their contempt for democracy which forced the imposition of Greece’s first unelected prime minster since the junta back in 2012. The government of central banker Lucas Papademos included the far-right LAOS party.

One of its MPs — now a poster boy for the right-wing New Democracy — was Makis Voridis.

He is a veteran fascist who sharpened his axe, literally, in physical assaults on left-wing students in the 1980s and before that was a leader of the Free Pupils school students organisation of the far right which terrorised left-wing teachers and pupils.

This trial will last a year. The Greek anti-fascist movement and its lawyers deserve the support of the labour movement and of the left across Europe.

As we approach the 70th anniversary of VE Day, crisis-wracked Greece is a reminder that democracy, liberal values and halting fascist barbarism are all far too important to be left in the hands of the capitalist Establishment and the politicians who serve it.

Kevin Ovenden is reporting from Athens thanks to the support of Philosophy Football. His book, Syriza — Escaping the Labyrinth, will be published by Pluto Press this September. To support the prosecution and anti-fascist movement in Greece go to

‘German government, do you want anti-austerity or nazism in Greece?’

This video says about itself:

Is Greece turning into Nazi Germany?

8 July 2013

Thug Politics – Greece: The rise of the Golden Dawn political party, they claim they are saving modern Greece, but are they preaching a neo-nazi ideology?

From daily The Guardian in Britain:

Greek and German finance ministers clash at debt relief talks

Finance chiefs can’t agree to disagree over Athens’ debts as Varoufakis brings up spectre of Greek nazism and Schäuble offers 500 German tax collectors

Heather Stewart

Thursday 5 February 2015 16.48 GM

Athens’ high stakes brinkmanship with its international creditors appeared no closer to paying off on Thursday, after talks in Germany ended with finance minister Wolfgang Schäuble insisting Greece was responsible for its own plight.

Yanis Varoufakis, the country’s pugnacious new finance minister, ended his tour of European capitals with a tense press conference alongside Schäuble, who repeated his offer to send 500 German tax collectors to Greece to ensure wealthy Greeks pay their taxes and help tackle corruption.

After their meeting in Berlin, Schäuble said he and Varoufakis had “agreed to disagree”; but Varoufakis interjected: “We did not reach agreement because it was never on the cards that we would.”

Later, though he had promised to meet the alarmist warnings of some in the eurozone about the consequences of Syriza’s policies with “a frenzy of reasonableness”, Varoufakis issued a stark warning that ignoring the plight of his countrymen could stoke the rise of nazism.

“When I return home tonight, I will find a country where the third-largest party is not a neo-Nazi party, but a Nazi party,” he said, referring to the far-right Golden Dawn.

Just prior to the Berlin meeting the Russian president, Vladimir Putin, had increased the pressure on eurozone policymakers by inviting the new Greek prime minister, Alexis Tsipras, to talks in Moscow. Tsipras was asked to attend an event on 9 May to mark the end of the second world war.

German public opinion is deeply sceptical about the need for fresh debt relief for Greece, after repeated bailouts since 2010; but Syriza argues that far from being rescued, it has been burdened with a series of impossible-to-repay loans, and has seen growth hobbled by the austerity imposed as a quid pro quo.

Back in Athens, Tsipras told the Greek parliament: “Greece is no longer the miserable partner who listens to lectures to do its homework. Greece has its own voice.”

The radical Syriza government had hoped to receive temporary support from the European Central Bank while it holds debt-restructuring talks with its creditors.

The €240bn bailout from the troika of the European commission, International Monetary Fund and the ECB – which came with stringent conditions, including hefty spending cuts – is due to expire at the end of February.

Syriza has insisted it will not accept an extension of the existing bailout programme; but the financial challenge facing the new government was sharpened on Wednesday when the ECB said it would limit access to emergency liquidity for its banks.

Apparently referring to that decision, which sent bank shares plunging, Tsipras said on Thursday: “Greece cannot be blackmailed because democracy in Europe cannot be blackmailed.”

The ministers in the new Greek government: here.

Anti-nazi demonstration in Greece

The lead banner at the anti-fascist demonstration last Saturday evening in Athens. It reads ‘Our class task is death to fascism’

From daily News Line in Britain:

Monday, 2 February 2015

6,000 youth march against Golden Dawn

OVER 6,000 youth and workers demonstrated last Saturday evening throughout the Athens city centre against a rally organised by the neo-Nazi Golden Dawn party. Marchers held banners and shouted slogans for the ‘death of fascism’.

There were no police in sight at all during the march. The Greek government has stated that there will be no armed police at demonstrations. But riot police buses blocked the marchers’ way to the fascist gathering of about 200 people.

The Greek government has appointed Yiannis Roubatis as the head of the Greek Intelligence Service (KYP). In the 1980s, Roubatis was an advisor to PASOK Prime Minister Andreas Papandreou and in the 1990s a Euro MP of social-democratic PASOK.

Now all Greek army, police and security services are in the hands of anti-working class right wingers.

Following the formation of the Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA) and right wing Independent Greeks party government early last week, Panos Kammenos the Independent Greeks leader was appointed Defence Minister.

Then the Athens University professor Yiannis Panousis, an ex-PASOK and Democratic Left parliamentary deputy, was placed Deputy Minister for Internal Affairs in charge of the police. In the past, Panousis has missed no opportunity to attack demonstrating youth and defend savage riot police violence.

Last Friday, Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras lifted the ‘civil mobilisation’ dictatorial order on the workers of the State Electricity Board that had been imposed by the previous government during last June’s strike.

On the same day, the Deputy Minister for Reforms, Yiorghos Katrougalos, met the Executive Committee of the ADEDY (public sector workers federation) and told them that there will be no restoration of wages and pensions this year at all.

GEORGE Osborne was likened to a student listening to his economics lecturer yesterday after a visit from Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis. The [British] Chancellor met his Hellenic counterpart just over a week after Syriza swept to power amid anger over extreme austerity measures: here.

GREEK Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis announced yesterday the retention of capitalist asset management firm Lazard as adviser to his ministry on public debt and fiscal management: here.