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Golden Dawn - the hidden identity of the contemporary Greek

09 September 2012 / 14:09:56  GRReporter
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"Golden Dawn! ... The best kept secret about the identity of modern Greeks." The leader of the liberal Alliance Grigoris Valianatos thus defines the rise of the extreme nationalist party in Greece, which this week once again scandalized the public opinion. With their campaign under the name "Golden Dawn: AN END to illegal trade," members of the party launched self-initiated checks on stalls at The Feast of the Dormition, held every year at this time in Rafina. About 40 members of the party took over the narrow streets in front of the church wearing black shirts bearing Golden Dawn emblems and carrying Greek flags in their hands. First, they demanded documents and authorization of business from the stalls' vendors. Minutes later, several vendors, mainly of foreign origin, saw how their goods were destroyed on the spot and their stalls were splintered.

"We came to the fair to honour the feast", said after the incident deputy George Germenis, known as Keadas. He and his colleague Panayiotis Iliopoulos were on the scene and preceded the campaign. "We saw that there were some illegal immigrants who were selling goods without the required documents. We made a complaint to the police and then we did what Golden Dawn had to do", said the deputy for a local media.

All political powers in Greece strongly condemned the initiative of the members of Golden Dawn. They asked for the case to be investigated and insisted on strictest proceedings to be initiated against it. "This is another episode of the phenomenon by Golden Dawn which is extremely dangerous for our democracy. For hours, the neo-Nazis, together with deputies from the party, committed transgressions, and terrorized the people at the fair without being harassed by the police", noted the far-left party SYRIZA. Police forces in Greece are known as strong supporters of the neo-Nazi party. Their support has grown significantly in the last three years, and since its entry into parliament in June, Mihaloliakos's party has come third in popularity so far according to sociological studies.

SYRIZA is adamant that the primary responsibility for the development of xenophobia in Greece and the growth of support for Golden Dawn stems from the government and in particular the Minister of Citizen Protection Nikos Dendias. He hadn't taken any preventive measures to prevent such scenes and there is no effective policy to curb illegal immigration. Such is the position of co-ruling party PASOK as well. Socialists insist that the actions of Golden Dawn should be regarded as illegal. PASOK spokeswoman Fofi Genimata said that the minister should abandon empty rhetoric and tackle the problem immediately. The Democratic Left said: "Violence has no place in parliamentary democracy" and added: "The country's laws should move against these actions."

The police are starting an investigation for usurpation of power and attacks on property against the participants in the campaign and against two members of Golden Dawn. The party is adamant that its members have acted within the law. "Golden Dawn responded to the requests of thousands of Greek merchants who are breathing their last under the scourge of illegal trade and the bloody measures imposed by the Memorandum. We will continue to fight on two fronts - against government injustice and illegality", says a party statement.

A similar incident was repeated at the National Market of Mesologio, where the group of self-ordered defenders of the law, led by Konstantinos Barbarousis, also "cleaned up" the stalls of foreigners. "We came to the national market and when we saw that the municipal police had no intention of carrying out the required inspection, we did it ourselves", said Barbarousis, who is also a deputy from the party.

In the video, which shows the event, there is a series of comments for and against the actions of the neo-Nazis. "Do not be afraid, the liberators are coming", writes a user with a large dose of sarcasm in a comment below the video from Mesologio. Others sincerely express their approval: "Well done, guys. Continue this way" or " Try walking in the shoes of the Greek who pays one thousand euros per year for the municipality stall + the tax + insurance as a fool while the blacks are not paying anything. Furthermore, the work of the municipal service is to destroy the products of vendors asstated by the law. We thank Golden Dawn, which replaced the state, which does nothing."

Tags: Politics Crime news golden dawn crime illegal trade taking the law
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