In an interview for Ethnos, a former member of Golden Dawn revealed the hierarchy, introductory exams and contributions according to the amount of which members of the party progress through the ranks, as well as the provision of "protection" and their uniforms.
When did you become a member of Golden Dawn?
I started from the first meeting of the local organisation in Nicaea, after an invitation on Facebook. I was seeking help, since Pakistanis would have attacked offices in Nicaea. I remember that it was a Thursday, and I went to the office and asked how I could subscribe. I believed in the idea of a Greece without illegal immigrants, but not in harassment and beatings. These are two different things. I went and signed up. They issued me a membership card.
How do you become a member?
You pay 20 euro, show a Greek ID card and sign up. Your membership card states which organisation you are a member of and your membership number.
Do you still have your card?
Yes, I do. I keep it at home. Once I signed up, they put me in the Nucleus. Members of the Nucleus run errands for whatever happens, without asking about anything. The Nucleus consisted of 20 people at the beginning, but at a certain point it expanded a lot. Since this was the trend at the time, everybody signed up in the Nucleus. The head of the organisation, George Patelis, decided to create a closed and an open Nucleus. The closed one would include only his people, those with muscles, the ones who take pills and become muscular.
Which people belong to the open Nucleus?
Most were in the open Nucleus. Afterwards, they separated men from women and only accepted men. When someone became a member, firstly, he had to participate in 5-6 actions and then he was assessed and they determined whether you could become a member of the open Nucleus. Afterwards, you continue and go deeper and if they reckon that you're doing things right, you enter the closed Nucleus. It was supposed that you learn secret things there. However, they never remained a secret, since someone always came out and said them.
What were those secrets?
What they will do - go to make an attack on a place where 10 Pakistanis live, write slogans on walls, or attack immigrants.
Did they attack mainly immigrants?
They attacked Pakistanis just to show off. Since I cannot accept that they attacked Pakistanis and then sold them protection. All Pakistanis in Nicaea laugh when they hear about Golden Dawn. The local organisation protects Pakistanis. It takes clothes that people donate to the poor and gives them to Pakistanis, who sell them on the market and give Golden Dawn a share of the revenues. Other people can also attest to that. They collected money for someone in need but put it in their own pockets. They said that they collected 40 euro, but in the closed Nucleus I understood that they collected 300 euro, and put it in their own pockets. They pay the cost of their homes and they make their lives easier in this way. Although George Petelis and his wife are unemployed and their only income comes from the pension of his mother, they live in a large comfortable house in Nicaea. He pays for electricity, water, telephone, and general expenses, and he lives well and is proud that he gives his child 15 euro every day. When you are unemployed, where do you get this money from?
Did Ioannis Lagos know about the things you're talking about?
He supported all this. He was aware of everything. Whatever we said, whatever happened, Lagos knew. Friends who publicly spoke about this were beaten. They went with evidence, beat them and excluded them afterwards. They said that they were liars and undisciplined. If you see something bad and talk about it – this is the end for you, you're out. Thus, he created the clique of gangsters and assault groups, as he wanted to, which resulted in a murder.
Who entered the assault groups?
Assault groups were the core. When I left, they included 30 people, but later others entered them.
Were these 30 people involved in the murder of Pavlos Fyssas?
Yes, they were.
How do these assault groups act?
The group wears black and white uniforms. Only the local organisation in Nicaea can wear them and nobody else. They do what George Patelis tells them. When they have to go and do something, he tells them to be prepared, dressed in black, and not to wear shirts of Golden Dawn, since they may damage the party, as well as to wear helmets, so that their faces cannot be seen.
Did you attend a meeting at which an order was given?
Yes, I did. When anarchists marched in Nicaea, Patelis became angry in the crowded office, and ordered all the men to go down to the city. And all went, with helmets, shields and clubs in order to pursue anarchists.
Where do they hide all this?
Last time, since we expected the police to invade, they had hidden these in Patelis’s car. They took shields and truncheons out of the office and hid them in his car and in his mother's house. Another time we were instructed that if someone has a "pieace of iron" they should give it to him (to Patelis).
Did they have weapons?
Yes, stilettos, expandable batons, weights, I’ve heard that some had weapons, but I have not seen them.
Is George Patelis armed?