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Pictures Worth a Thousand Words: “If I Had a Hammer . . . “

Voridis' axe/hammer and two of his fellow craftsmen

COMMENT: The Eurozone crisis and the advance of fascism in its afflicted nations has afforded us some telling imagery. Mussolini took the name for his “Corporate State” from the fascis–a bundle of rods bound together with an axe head joined to it.

In the wake of the formation of the provisional government in Greece, we looked at the inclusion of doctrinaire fascists in that government.

Of particular interest here is Makis “The Hammer” Voridis, the new Greek minister of Infrastructure and transportation.

Seen at left as a law student in the 1970’s, Voridis earned his nickname by carrying a homemade weapon with which to attack fellow students with whose politics he disagreed.

In the incisive Mark Ames post, the weapon is variously described as a “hammer” and an “axe,” and may be viewed in magnification in the center panel.

The similarity between the axe head of the fascis and Voridis’ chosen instrument of destruction is eerie.


23 comments for “Pictures Worth a Thousand Words: “If I Had a Hammer . . . “”

  1. @Dave: To me, it’s just another piece of proof of Voridis’ fascist sympathies. BTW, was this guy ever arrested for harassing people back then or did he just get off scot-free?

    Posted by Steven l. | January 11, 2012, 4:48 pm
  2. Who knows why the ratings agencies still have credibility, but you have to give S&P credit for going against the “austerity forever” group-think in their latest round of eurozone downgrades. And I guess Merkel gets gold star for persistence in duplicity:

    January 14, 2012, 11:31 am
    S&P On Europe
    Paul Krugman

    S&P’s downgrade of a bunch of European sovereigns was no surprise. What was somewhat surprising — and which went unmentioned in almost all the news stories I’ve read — was why S&P has gotten so pessimistic. From their FAQs:

    We also believe that the agreement [the latest euro rescue plan] is predicated on only a partial recognition of the source of the crisis: that the current financial turmoil stems primarily from fiscal profligacy at the periphery of the eurozone. In our view, however, the financial problems facing the eurozone are as much a consequence of rising external imbalances and divergences in competitiveness between the EMU’s core and the so-called “periphery”. As such, we believe that a reform process based on a pillar of fiscal austerity alone risks becoming self-defeating, as domestic demand falls in line with consumers’ rising concerns about job security and disposable incomes, eroding national tax revenues.

    And today we read about the response:

    German chancellor Angela Merkel has called on eurozone governments speedily to implement tough new fiscal rules after Standard & Poor’s downgraded the credit ratings of France and Austria and seven other second-tier sovereigns.

    Still barreling down the road to nowhere.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | January 14, 2012, 9:03 pm
  3. ahhhhh! need new shows!

    Posted by Mast | January 16, 2012, 1:13 am
  4. @Mast: I’d like to see him back sometime, too. =)

    Posted by Steven L. | January 16, 2012, 9:48 pm
  5. Losses for Greek bondholders?! Oh the humanity!

    Hedge Funds May Sue Greece if It Tries to Force Loss
    Published: January 18, 2012

    LONDON — Hedge funds have been known to use hardball tactics to make money. Now they have come up with a new one: suing Greece in a human rights court to make good on its bond payments.

    The novel approach would have the funds arguing in the European Court of Human Rights that Greece had violated bondholder rights, though that could be a multiyear project with no guarantee of a payoff. And it would not be likely to produce sympathy for these funds, which many blame for the lack of progress so far in the negotiations over restructuring Greece’s debts.

    The tactic has emerged in conversations with lawyers and hedge funds as it became clear that Greece was considering passing legislation to force all private bondholders to take losses, while exempting the European Central Bank, which is the largest institutional holder of Greek bonds with 50 billion euros or so.

    Legal experts suggest that the investors may have a case because if Greece changes the terms of its bonds so that investors receive less than they are owed, that could be viewed as a property rights violation — and in Europe, property rights are human rights.

    At the root of the dispute is a growing insistence on the part of Germany and the International Monetary Fund that as Greece’s economy continues to collapse, its debt — now about 140 percent of its gross domestic product — needs to be reduced as rapidly as possible.

    Those two powerful actors — which control the purse strings for current and future Greek bailouts — have pressured Greece to adopt a more aggressive tone toward its creditors. As a result, Greece has demanded that bondholders accept not only a 50 percent loss on their new bonds but also a lower interest rate on them. That is a tough pill for investors to swallow, given the already steep losses they face, and one that would be likely to increase the cumulative haircut to between 60 and 70 percent.

    But with their considerable financial resources, some funds may be willing to pursue such a route, and they point to similar cases won by hedge funds in Latin America. While the prospect of Greece paying an investor any time soon is slim, the country wants to avoid a parade of lawsuits across Europe, which would restrict its ability to raise money in international markets.

    Argentina, which defaulted on its debts in 2002, still faces legal claims from investors that have made it nearly impossible for the country to tap global debt markets.

    “It cannot be Angela Merkel that decides who suffers losses,” said one aggrieved investor who was considering legal action and did not want to be identified for that reason. “What Europe is forgetting is that there needs to be respect for contract rights.”

    It is not just the legal cudgel that investors are threatening to use. Some hedge funds have discussed among themselves the possibility of demanding a side payment, as they describe it, as a price Europe and Greece must pay if the two want the funds to participate in the agreement.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | January 19, 2012, 10:35 am
  6. […] post by anti-fascist researcher and radio host Dave Emory is reminiscent, as he points out, of the fascis, « a bun­dle of rods bound together with an axe head joined to it ». […]

    Posted by Makis « Hammer » Voridis: The return of Thor and the rise of Wotan in Greece? | Lys-d'Or | February 2, 2012, 7:31 pm
  7. Regarding the recent wave arson in Athens amidst the anti-austerity protests, note that eye-witnesses are reporting that it was criminal gangs trying to extort protection money from business, and not left-wing protestors, that were starting the fires. Hmmmm…

    February 17, 2012 6:04 pm
    Grim effects of austerity show on Greek streets

    By Kerin Hope in Athens

    Huddled in a sleeping bag under a porch, his few possessions stashed in a black bin-liner, Rovertos awaits a visit from a lawyer who manages the graffiti-covered building in central Athens where he took refuge six weeks ago.

    “He said maybe I could stay if the owners didn’t object. It might keep burglars away,” says the 38-year-old unemployed construction worker, who started sleeping rough after he was evicted last year for unpaid rent.

    Rovertos is one of an estimated 20,000 Greeks in the capital made homeless over the past year.

    As Greece’s crisis deepens, the social fabric is showing signs of unravelling, raising questions about how much more austerity the country can take. Job losses, along with pension cuts, have created a new class of urban poor.

    Along with the homeless come the scavengers. Shariq Aziz, an unemployed factory worker from Pakistan, wheels a battered supermarket trolley through an upmarket residential district, picking through rubbish containers for useful materials to sell.

    “Anything made of metal is good, but leather and glass is also OK,” he says. “I sell what I find to a dealer from Albania with a truck … he pays enough money for me to get by.”

    Immigrants like Mr Aziz, who shares a room with six other Pakistanis, face physical threats as Greek far-right groups grow more assertive.

    Violence against property reached new heights during this week’s anti-austerity riots in the city centre, in which almost 50 unprotected buildings were set ablaze and looting was widespread.

    For many Athens residents, feelings of anger and outrage over the arson attacks were mixed with fears that public order in the capital was at risk of breaking down.

    While police routinely detain dozens of protesters after violent riots, only a handful come to trial or face sentencing for causing damage to property, mainly because of lack of evidence.

    Angelos, who manages a clothing store owned by an expatriate Greek that was damaged in the riots, said criminal gangs, not leftwing extremists, were behind this week’s attacks.

    “The guys in masks asked businesses for money so that they wouldn’t get firebombed,” he said. “We had wire-mesh over the shopfront so we didn’t get looted but smoke and soot particles ruined most of the stock on display. My boss is ready to close the business.”

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | February 27, 2012, 8:48 pm
  8. Anti-German sentiment over the eurozone’s treatment of Greece is leading to a surge in Greek neo-Nazi sentiments. I think Pavlovian gullibility just jumped to shark:

    Hard Times Lift Greece’s Anti-Immigrant Fringe

    Published: April 12, 2012

    ATHENS – On a recent morning in the upper-middle-class neighborhood of Papagou here, members of the Greek ultranationalist group Golden Dawn stood at an outdoor vegetable market campaigning for the coming national election.

    He approached an older woman, who recounted how a relative had been robbed of about $800. “They threw her on the ground, they took the 600 euros she had withdrawn from the bank to pay for her husband’s nursing home,” the woman said. “She was even a Communist, and she told me, ‘I’m going to Golden Dawn to report this.

    The exchange was a telling sign of how the hard-core group – better known for its violent tangles with immigrants in downtown Athens and for the Nazi salutes that some members perform at rallies – has been trying to broaden its appeal, capitalizing on fears that illegal immigration has grown out of control at a time when the economy is bleeding jobs.

    Many polls indicate that in the national elections scheduled for May 6, Golden Dawn may surpass the 3 percent threshold needed to enter Parliament. The group has been campaigning on the streets, something that mainstream politicians have avoided for fear of angry reactions by voters who blame them for Greece’s economic collapse.

    But even if Golden Dawn fails to enter Parliament, it has already had an impact on the broader political debate. In response to the fears over immigration and rising crime, Greece’s two leading parties – the Socialist Party and the center-right New Democracy Party – have also tapped into nationalist sentiment and are tacking hard right in a campaign in which immigration has become as central as the economy.

    Experts say the group is thriving where the Greek state seems absent, the most virulent sign of how the economic collapse has empowered fringe groups while eroding the political mainstream, a situation that some Greek news outlets have begun comparing to Weimar Germany.

    “Greek society at this point is a laboratory of extreme-right-wing evolution,” said Nicos Demertzis, a political scientist at the University of Athens. “We are going through an unprecedented financial crisis; we are a fragmented society without strong civil associations” and with “generalized corruption in all the administration levels.”

    The Socialists, who were in power when Greece asked for a foreign bailout, have seen their popularity plummet, and they are desperate for a way to reconnect with voters. This month, Greece’s public order minister, Michalis Chrisochoidis, a Socialist in the interim government of Prime Minister Lucas Papademos, said Greece would set up detention centers for illegal immigrants. And the Socialist health minister caused a stir when he said that Greece would require illegal immigrants to undergo checks for infectious diseases.

    But the established parties are also warning of the dangers of extremism. Last week, Evangelos Venizelos, who is running in the national elections as Socialist Party leader, warned that “Parliament cannot become a place for those nostalgic for fascism and Nazism.”

    Golden Dawn is unabashedly nostalgic for both. Founded in the early 1980s by sympathizers of the military dictatorship that governed Greece from 1967 to 1974, Golden Dawn has always espoused a neo-Nazi ideology. Its symbol clearly resembles the swastika, and copies of “Mein Kampf” and books on the racial superiority of the Greeks are on prominent display in its Athens headquarters.

    In the early 1990s, it capitalized on widespread opposition to the use of the name Macedonia by a former Yugoslav republic; a Greek region shares that name. And in recent years, Golden Dawn has muted the neo-Nazi talk and focused on anti-immigrant actions in downtown Athens, where the number of illegal immigrants, most from South Asia, Albania and Africa, has exploded.

    The group has fostered grass-roots “citizens’ groups” that it says are intended to protect Greek citizens from crime by immigrants but that critics say are just vigilante squads.


    “Up to now, Golden Dawn was not politically dangerous but actually dangerous,” said Tassos Kostopoulos, an expert on Greek politics. He and others said Golden Dawn had historically had ties to the Greek state, especially the police. In a television interview last year, Mr. Chrisochoidis, the Socialist public order minister, said that when he took office in 2009, “guys from Golden Dawn and a number of fascist types were participating in actions that assisted the police.”

    Athanasios Kokkalakis, the Greek police spokesman, acknowledged episodes of racist violence in Athens but said that the police force had not verified ties between its members and Golden Dawn.

    Golden Dawn has been running unsuccessfully in national elections since 1994, but it took a big step toward legitimization in 2010, when its leader, Nikos Michaloliakos, was elected to the Athens City Council. In an interview, Mr. Michaloliakos called the group “national socialists” and said it was concerned about crime and the financial crisis.

    He said that the group opposed Greece’s agreement with its foreign lenders and that the country’s political leadership was too beholden to “international bankers.” The Nazi salutes by Golden Dawn members were not official policy, he said, adding that “we can’t control thousands” of people. (Soon after his election, Mr. Michaloliakos himself was captured on video doing a Nazi salute in the City Council.)

    Asked if he believed that the Holocaust had happened, Mr. Michaloliakos said, “I think all history is written by the winners.”

    Another leading Golden Dawn official, Ilias Kasidiaris, was more blunt. “The main view in Europe is that six million Jews were killed. History has shown that this is a lie,” he said in an interview.

    Mr. Kasidiaris added that he believed that all illegal immigrants should be “deported immediately,” and that Greece should plant minefields along its border with Turkey “Not to kill the immigrants,” he said, “but to clearly define an area that would stop anyone from thinking of accessing the country.”

    Although Golden Dawn is clearly still cozy with neo-Nazi ideology, it has also tapped into rising Greek nationalist sentiment, which is now anti-German. “It’s right to hate Germany, because it is still the leader of the banksters and the European Union,” Mr. Michaloliakos, the group’s leader, said, using a derogatory term for bankers.

    Let’s just hope the Greek youth can see through the Golden Dawn/Bankster unacknowledged alliance, because the banksters seem to really hate the Greek youth:

    UPDATE 1-One in five Greeks unemployed, half of all youth

    Thu Apr 12, 2012 5:55am EDT

    By Harry Papachristou

    (Reuters) – Greece’s jobless rate rose to a record of 21.8 percent in January, twice as high as the euro zone average, statistics service ELSTAT said on Thursday, as the debt crisis and austerity measures took their toll on the labour market.

    Youth unemployment remained at levels where more are jobless than in work.

    Budget cuts imposed by the European Union and the International Monetary Fund as a condition for saving the debt-laden country from a chaotic default have caused a wave of corporate closures and bankruptcies.

    Greece’s average annual unemployment rate for 2011 jumped to 17.7 percent from 12.5 percent in the previous year, according to ELSTAT figures. December’s rates was 21.2 percent.

    For the second consecutive month, those aged between 15-24 years were hit hard. Unemployment in that age group stood at 50.8 percent, twice as high as three years ago.

    Greece’s economy is estimated to have shrunk by about a fifth since 2008, when it plunged into its deepest and longest post-war recession. About 600,000 jobs, more than one in 10, have been destroyed in the process.

    A record 1.08 million people were without work in January, 47 percent more than in the same month last year, according to ELSTAT figures. The number in work dropped 8.6 percent to a record low of 3.88 million.

    As an increasing number of people claim unemployment benefits, the government is finding it increasingly difficult to meet its budget targets.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | April 12, 2012, 7:00 pm
  9. Aaaand humanity’s case of congenital Stockholm Syndrome chugs along…

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | April 12, 2012, 8:04 pm
  10. Full political rights for racially pure Greeks only? Well, at least there should be a thriving sector of the Greek economy selling racial purity testing kits. Sort of like 23andMe for fascists:

    Fascist Salutes Return to Greece as Anti-Immigrants Chase Voters
    By Tom Stoukas – Apr 29, 2012 4:00 PM CT

    Theodore Couloumbis experienced the Nazi occupation of Greece as a boy and 70 years later he’s worried he’ll witness the return of stiff-armed salutes and fascist flags.

    The Golden Dawn party may enter the parliament in Athens for the first time after May 6 elections, current polls show, as rising anti-immigrant sentiment among austerity-hit Greeks spurs support for groups formerly on the political fringes. Ninety percent of people surveyed for a To Vima newspaper poll published on April 9 said immigrants are responsible for an increase in violence and crime.

    “The last thing I would want to see in the Greek parliament is a bunch of people who give the Hitler salute,” said Couloumbis, 76, a professor of international relations at the University of Athens. “I’m old enough to remember the absolute ugliness of that particular occupation.”

    The group is known for its violent clashes in immigrant neighborhoods and for a red and black party logo resembling a disentangled swastika. Members of the group have said it’s not Nazi or fascist and they reject any connection of its logo to a swastika, saying it’s an ancient Greek symbol. A video of Golden Dawn leader Nikolaos Michaloliakos shows him giving the fascist salute.

    Golden Dawn’s charter says its “main ideal and belief is the nation-tribe” and that “only men and women of Greek descent and consciousness should have full political rights.” Michaloliakos declined to comment for this story when called on his mobile phone.

    Land Mines

    The party wants land mines placed on the Greek-Turkish border to stop illegal immigrants entering the country and cancellation of Greek loan accords with the European Union and International Monetary Fund.

    It also calls for wiping out debt accumulated since 1974 that’s deemed “illegal and burdensome.” Greek banks that get state funds should be nationalized, as should all natural resources, the party’s program says.

    Golden Dawn is bolstering support by organizing security patrols in immigrant-heavy neighborhoods and by running food banks for Greeks suffering from five years of recession and unemployment of almost 22 percent.

    “I’m voting for Golden Dawn because I want all the immigrants to leave,” Maria Papageorgiou, 52, said in an interview in the Athens neighborhood where she has lived all her life. “There’s a high crime rate, it’s a miserable situation. They should leave and go back to their countries. Or maybe the Germans can take them.”
    Euro Status

    At stake in the election is whether the next Greek government can implement the austerity measures on which bailout funds and euro membership depend.

    The Athens Stock Exchange has lost 61 percent of its value over the last two years. An index of Greek banks dropped 73 percent in the last 12 months. Greek government bonds maturing in February 2023 are yielding 20.55 percent compared with 18.28 percent on March 14, the day after the country’s credit rating was lifted out of the default category by Fitch Ratings following the agreement of a debt swap.

    Polls show Golden Dawn winning as much as 5 percent of the vote, enough to enter parliament for the first time. The party, which was founded two decades ago, won its first seat on the Athens city council in 2010.

    Golden Dawn’s rise comes as far-right or nationalist parties are surging in a number of European countries including Hungary, Austria, the Netherlands and France, where anti- immigrant National Front leader Marine Le Pen won 17.9 percent in the first round of presidential elections on April 22.

    In addition to Golden Dawn, the Independent Greeks party has polled near 10 percent. It was set up on Feb. 24 by Panos Kammenos after he was expelled from New Democracy for casting a vote against the interim Papademos government.

    Laos, a nationalist party that wants immigrants to be shipped to uninhabited Greek islands before being deported, is also vying for anti-foreigner voters. Polls show as many as 10 political parties could enter Greece’s parliament.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | April 30, 2012, 8:22 am
  11. These guys aren’t mentally ill or anything like that. Nope:

    Greek political smackdown on live TV as extreme right figure punches female rival
    June 8, 2012 – 7:15AM

    A Greek politician is being hunted by police after the country’s election campaign turned into an ugly brawl on live TV.

    The spokesman of the extreme-right Golden Dawn party, after trading insults of “commie” and “fascist” with two left-wing politicians, lunged at the women, smacking one three times across the face and throwing a glass of water at another.

    The violent display a week and a half before crucial elections has stunned Greeks as they seek to avoid a catastrophic exit from Europe’s common euro currency.

    Discussion went off on a tangent about political history in Greece, which suffered a vicious civil war between Communists and the right-wing after World War II, and a seven-year military dictatorship that ended in 1974.

    Kasidiaris shot an insult of “you old Commie” at 58-year-old prominent Communist Party member Liana Kanelli, after she called him a “fascist”.

    Kasidiaris, 31, also took offence at a reference by Dourou to a court case pending against him.

    It all careened into violence when Dourou said there was a “crisis of democracy when people who will take the country back 500 years have got into the Greek parliament”.

    Kasidiaris bounded out of his seat and hurled a glass of water at her, shouting an insult: “You circus act.”

    Talk show host Giorgos Papadakis ran over to Kasidiaris, attempting to calm him down. But he turned on Kanelli, who appeared to throw a newspaper at him.

    Kasidiaris hit Kanelli three times – with hard right-left-right slaps to the sides of her head.

    Papadakis tried and failed to restrain him.

    The channel cut to a commercial break, and returned five minutes later without Kasidiaris.

    Papadakis and Kanelli later said attempts had been made to restrain Kasidiaris after the scuffle by shutting him in a room in the TV channel’s building, but he broke through the door and left.

    Well, at least this incident didn’t involve “The Hammer”.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | June 7, 2012, 1:38 pm
  12. The clip I watched of this was accompanied by some minimal commentary by the newsreader. What was striking was that after initially identifying Kasidiaris as a neo-nazi from a neo-nazi party with racist and violent tendencies, the anchor said that the party “appears to have tapped into some kind of nationalist sentiment among the Greeks.”

    I doubt distinctions could be blurred anymore than is accomplished by this man’s spongy summary description. This is masterful newsspeak.

    Incidentally, he mentions that the party has attracted about 7 percent of the Greek electorate. That happens to be, by some estimates, about the percentage of sociopaths in any given population.


    Posted by Dwight | June 8, 2012, 6:36 am
  13. One out of two policemen voted for these guys. That’s right, statistics on the May 6 election indicate that up to 50% of Greek policemen voted for the party of vigilante neo-nazi hooligans:

    Party leaders set aside economy to focus on security
    ekathimerini.com , Friday June 8, 2012

    Party leaders largely set aside economic issues on Friday as they continued campaigning for the June 17 elections and focused on crime, immigration and the rise of the neo-Nazi Chrysi Avgi (Golden Dawn) party, whose spokesman remained at large after punching a fellow parliamentary candidate on live TV on Thursday.

    New Democracy leader Antonis Samaras sought to capitalize on the furor created this week as a result of the behavior of Golden Dawn candidate Ilias Kasidiaris and the fatal shooting of a robber on the outskirts of Athens. Conservative party sources said ND sees the current situation as an opportunity to appeal to concerned households and to limit the number of traditional ND supporters that will vote for parties further to the right.


    SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras said that his party would “not tolerate anything that threatens the safety of ordinary citizens.” He also pledged to reintroduce the concept of a neighborhood policeman. “The policeman’s place is in neighborhoods and on the streets,” he said. “It is not in the corridors of power or in Parliament.”

    The police, meanwhile, rejected claims that they were not making proper efforts to track down Golden Dawn spokesman Kasidiaris. Statistics indicated that as many as one in two policemen voted for the far-right party on May 6, but police spokesman Thanasis Kokalakis denied that officers’ political leanings had any influence on the force’s work. “We are checking all the known spots where this individual is likely to be,” he said.

    One almost has to hope that the police were voting for their own job security because there’s nothing quite like roving neo-nazi street thugs for creating a demand for more cops! The alternative explanations are pretty horrifying for a society struggling to maintain some semblance of law and order.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | June 8, 2012, 12:22 pm
  14. Oh my, this is just too precious. This lunatic is now suing the two women he assaulted on live tv for “unprovoked verbal abuse”:

    Golden Dawn spokesman sues candidates he attacked on TV
    ekathimerini.com , Monday June 11, 2012 (13:53)

    Chrysi Avgi (Golden Dawn) spokesman Ilias Kasidiaris filed suits on Monday against the two parliamentary candidates he attacked last week during a TV panel discussion.

    Kasidiaris accused Liana Kanelli of the Communist Party (KKE), who he punched three times, and SYRIZA’s Rena Dourou, who he drenched in water, of unprovoked verbal abuses.

    The Golden Dawn representative also sued Antenna TV, which hosted the program, of attempting to hold him against his wishes and journalist Antonis Delatolas, who was on the panel, of abuse of power.

    Kasidiaris issued a statement over the weekend saying the incident had been staged with the aim of making him and Golden Dawn look bad.

    Kasidiaris was due to appear in court on Monday to face charges of being an accomplice in a violent attack on a student in 2007. The neo-Nazi politician denies driving the car that carried the victim’s attackers.

    I think I figured it out…this is all part of a brilliant electoral scheme:

    The Golden Dawn: We may be thugs, but at least we’re hilariously outlandish thugs. This was just a preview. Want to see the next episode? Vote for us.

    I really wish that was entirely in jest.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | June 11, 2012, 1:42 pm
  15. There are those with a pair of brass balls and then there’s the Golden Dawn. Ladies and Gentlemen, this year’s Golden Globes award for “most successful implementation of thuggish clownishness in the cause of fascist domination” goes to…

    Last updated: September 21, 2012 5:33 pm
    Greece grapples with shadow of Golden Dawn

    By Kerin Hope in Corinth

    Alexandros Pnevmatikos draws a line across his throat with one finger, mimicking a threat by a member of the far-right Golden Dawn party during a recent protest.

    The two-term socialist mayor of the southern Greek city of Corinth was jostled, then pushed violently to the ground, by a group of men in black T-shirts bearing the party’s the swastika-like symbol. He claims he was attacked for declaring a few days earlier that “fascism will never prevail in Greece”.

    “Golden Dawn have taken to throwing their weight around ever since they won a seat here at the election,” Mr Pnevmatikos says in his spacious office hung with paintings of Corinth port and its ancient ruins.

    Golden Dawn, which won 7 per cent of the vote in June’s election and entered parliament for the first time, is on a roll, pulling established parties to the right – including Corinth’s socialists.

    The party is tapping into the despair of many at the country’s downward spiral, offering an immediate outlet – and target – for their rage. But here in one of its main strongholds Golden Dawn is also taking politically effective measures in response to Greeks’ fear of crime, and to their poverty.

    Polls suggest the party has gained ground since the election as anxiety deepens over a possible Greek expulsion from the euro. A poll this week showed a near doubling in the number of people expressing “positive opinions” about Golden Dawn, up from 12 per cent in May to 22 per cent now.

    Thanos Veremis, a historian and political analyst, says: “They address people’s feelings of insecurity in difficult times, they offer the unemployed somewhere to belong … and the immigrant issue gives them momentum.”

    Ilias Kassidiaris, the party’s spokesman, denies that Golden Dawn is neo-fascist, despite its symbol and the Nazi-style salute with which members greet Nikos Michaloliakos, its leader. “We are pure Greek nationalists,” he says.

    Golden Dawn’s position takes no account of Greek legislation allowing immigrants to obtain residence and work permits.

    “There is no such person as a legal immigrant,” says Mr Kassidiaris, a former Greek army commando whose approval rating soared after he slapped a female Communist parliamentary candidate on a breakfast television talk-show.

    This week Mr Kassidiaris revealed that he had asked to be stripped of his parliamentary immunity from prosecution ahead of an appeal court hearing of an armed robbery case in which he is accused of driving the getaway car. He denies involvement in the robbery.

    The case has highlighted alleged connections between Golden Dawn and the Greek criminal underworld. “We get reports their members are involved in protection rackets, sometimes in collusion with the police,” Mr Damalos says.

    Yet Golden Dawn has also tried to build an image of social responsibility, through regular food distributions to needy Greeks registered with the party and by providing a service to accompany pensioners to the bank in neighbourhoods where muggings – which they blame on immigrants – are frequent.

    Maria Tsalpatura, a 75-year-old retired schoolteacher, says she calls Golden Dawn every month before she goes to collect her pension. “They come on time and they’re very polite, I think they offer a real service,” she says.

    No, we aren’t criminal neo-nazis driving getaway cars and fomenting anti-immigrant tensions and picking on the weakest members of that populace for crass personal gain while poisoning the nation’s politics and crippling its future. No, that must have been someone else. We were too busy helping old ladies cross the street.


    Posted by Pterrafractyl | September 22, 2012, 11:33 pm
  16. http://www.jta.org/news/article/2012/09/23/3107701/greek-neo-nazi-party-sets-up-new-york-office

    Greek neo-Nazi party sets up New York office

    September 23, 2012

    ATHENS, Greece (JTA) — The Greek neo-Nazi Golden Dawn Party reportedly set up an office in New York City in a bid to bolster its support among expatriate Greek communities.

    The populist ultranationalist party has been collecting food and medicine at drives in New York for Greeks left destitute by the country’s massive financial crisis and recently distributed the aid in Athens, according to the Kathimerini daily.

    The website of the Golden Dawn New York branch, which features the party’s black swastika-like symbol across a dark New York skyline, promises the aid will be donated “only to Greek people.”

    Similar drives also have been held in Melbourne, Australia, and Montreal, Canada, Kathimerini said.

    Golden Dawn swept into the Greek parliament with 19 lawmakers in recent elections campaigning on an anti-austerity, anti-immigrant platform, preying on the fears of Greeks who have seen the country flooded with immigrants amid a terrible recession.

    Greek and international Jewish groups have condemned the party repeatedly as racist and anti-Semitic. Golden Dawn leader Nikolaos Michaloliakos uses the Heil Hitler salute and in recent interviews denied the existence of gas chambers at Nazi death camps during World War II.

    The New York chapter of Golden Dawn vows to help its brethren in Greece “resist and overcome the genocidal multi-culturalist and anti-Hellenic agenda of the New World Order,” and combat the “unholy alliance of the bankers, the media, corrupt politicians and the educational system.”

    However, it “supports the American Constitution and respects all U.S. laws,” the website states.

    Posted by Vanfield | September 24, 2012, 4:25 pm
  17. Monsters indeed:

    Greece’s ‘Monster’ Debt Problem Haunts Europe
    Published: Monday, 12 Nov 2012 | 8:31 AM ET
    By: Holly Ellyatt and Kelly Evans

    Euro zone finance ministers meeting in Brussels on Monday won’t make a final decision on aid for Greece, despite Athens passing a new austerity budget. But one former European Central Bank (ECB) official has told CNBC that Europe must give Athens more time.

    Urging Europe to extend Greece’s debt maturities,former ECB board member Lorenzo Bini Smaghi told CNBC that it was a critical moment for Europe to help and not hinder Greece.

    “Greece was asked to do a series of things that they have done. Now it’s the rest of Europe that needs to find a solution and help Greece come out from this situation,” he said, stating that there were several options available to Europe to assist Greece.

    “They can lengthen the maturities, they can reduce interest rates — there’s no point asking for high interest rates. There are so many ways in which the official sector can contribute, they need to do that,” Bini Smaghi said in an interview at London’s Chatham House.

    On Sunday night, Greece’s parliament approved a 2013 austerity budget that could save the country from bankruptcy but aid for Athens could be delayed, because of disagreements between the European Union and the International Monetary Fund (IMF), according to the Financial Times, over how much debt relief should be afforded to Greece.

    Bini Smaghi said that methods to deal with countries with high debt were known to organizations such as the IMF and that the public sector doesn’t have to “mark to market,” a reference to paper losses that would have to be borne by the ECB and European governments if Greece was given more time or lower interest rates.

    “If you lengthen the maturities, the net present value may be reduced but that’s the way to ensure debt sustainability is assured.”

    Bini Smaghi added that Greece also needed “much more time” to introduce austerity measures and needed more bridge loans to tide it over.

    “They [Europe] need to put an end to this situation,” he said, denying that it could set a precedent for other struggling economies such as Spain and Portugal. “The heads of state always say that Greece is special..they went to very special measures that do not apply to other countries.”

    Europe to Blame for Greece

    Meanwhile, one economist told CNBC that Greece’s problems were of Europe’s making and that any moves by the euro zone to save Greece could be in vain anyway as Greece will probably leave the euro zone in 2013.

    Costas Lapavitsas, professor of economics at SOAS University in London said Europe has created a “monster” out of Greece through its economic mismanagement of the country’s debt situation and the work going into salvaging Europe’s most troubled economy will likely come to naught.

    “I would be amazed if Greece remained a member of the euro zone in 2013,“ Lapavitsas told CNBC on Monday.

    “But that is not the end of the story. Greece cannot handle the euro discipline, it needs to get out, it needs to revive its competitiveness,” he said.

    In a signal to its European and international paymasters, Greece’s fractured coalition showed a rare sign of unity in its approval of the budget. That followed another vote last Wednesday when Greece’s parliament passed further austerity measures. The show of solidarity under pressure showed Greece’s sense of urgency in securing a further tranche of crucial foreign aid — which will save it from imminent bankruptcy.

    Professor Lapavitsas told CNBC Europe’s “Squawk Box” that Greece needed to leave the euro rather than adhere to an endless set of punitive austerity measures.

    “It needs to put its economy back on track and the current set of measures don’t do that,” he said, alluding to the vote on further austerity measures that have slashed 9.4 billion euros ($11.9 billion) from the pension, welfare and public sector wage bill amid a backdrop of growing public anger and protest.

    Though the Greek prime minister Antonis Samaras has said there would be no more spending cuts for Greece, Professor Lapavitsas said the measures, approved against a backdrop of widespread public opposition, would lead to “severe contraction and long-term stagnation.”

    “I would expect political and social unrest sooner, rather than later, unless Greece gets out of the euro,” he said, adding that under the apparent unity of the Greek coalition, “the weakness remained.”

    “Debt is the major problem and that must be dealt with through a write-off,” he said, adding that though he doesn’t exonerate Greece from the part it played in its own economic disaster, Europe was to blame for debt mismanagement in Spain, Portugal and Greece.

    “Europe has created a monster out of the Greek debt problem…Debt forgiveness for Greece- which is absolutely necessary, is now much, much more complicated,” he said. “Greece owes a lot of money, this is not a small amount. We’re talking about hundreds of billions of euros.”

    Professor Lapavitsas said that the volume of Greek debt had increased since official involvement from euro zone monetary institutions.

    “After two and a half years of so-called debt management and rescue, what’s happened is that the total volume of debt has actually increased and the composition has changed against Greece,” he said.

    “Greek debt used to be about 300 billion euros, it was in Greek bonds and could’ve been written off under Greek law…Now, [however] it’s multilateral debt — debt owed to official lenders. It’s a matter of public policy in Europe about who’s going to take the losses.”

    Over 70 percent of Greece’s debts are now owed to official lenders such as the European Central Bank and International Monetary Fund. Private-sector bondholders agreed to a haircut on their bond holdings earlier in the year but Germany is so far resisting calls for further debt relief for Greece.

    More patience is all that is required while we wait for the the benefits of the austerity-measures to take effect. Remember, it’s not just about debt relief. Austerity is needed for social renewal and a new civic spirit of hard work and personal responsibility. The monsters of sloth and institutional corruption must be slain:

    Special Report: Greece’s far-right party goes on the offensive

    By Dina Kyriakidou

    ATHENS | Mon Nov 12, 2012 4:15am EST

    (Reuters) – Arm raised in a Nazi-style salute, the leader of Greece’s fastest-rising political party surveyed hundreds of young men in black T-shirts as they exploded into cheers. Their battle cry reverberated through the night: Blood! Honour! Golden Dawn!

    “We may sometimes raise our hand this way, but these hands are clean, not dirty. They haven’t stolen,” shouted Nikolaos Mihaloliakos as he stood, floodlit, in front of about 2,000 diehard party followers filling an open-air amphitheatre at Goudi park, a former military camp near Athens.

    “We were dozens, then a few hundred. Now we’re thousands and it’s only the beginning,” cried the leader of Golden Dawn, a far-right party that is seeing its support soar amid Greece’s economic collapse. Last month’s rally revealed the party, which describes itself as nationalist and pledges to expel all illegal foreigners, has a new-found sense of triumph, even a swagger, that some find menacing.

    Riding a wave of public anger at corrupt politicians, austerity and illegal immigration, Golden Dawn has seen its popularity double in a few months. A survey by VPRC, an independent polling company, put the party’s support at 14 percent in October, compared with the seven percent it won in June’s election.

    Political analysts see no immediate halt to its meteoric ascent. They warn that Golden Dawn, which denies being neo-Nazi despite openly adopting similar ideology and symbols, may lure as many as one in three Greek voters.

    “As long as the political system doesn’t change and doesn’t put an end to corruption, this phenomenon will not be stemmed,” said Costas Panagopoulos, chief of ALCO, another independent polling company. “Golden Dawn can potentially tap up to 30 percent of voters.”

    The party now lies third in the polls, behind conservative New Democracy and the main opposition, the radical leftist Syriza. Violent behavior by Golden Dawn members, who often stroll through run-down Athens neighborhoods harassing immigrants, seems to boost rather than hurt the party’s standing.

    As the government imposes yet more austerity on an enraged public, the collapse of the ruling conservative-leftist coalition remains on the political horizon. The possibility that Golden Dawn could capture second place in a snap election is slim but real, say pollsters.

    Analysts believe that, ultimately, the party lacks the broad appeal and structure needed to gain mass traction. In World War Two Greece suffered massacres and famine in its fight against the Nazis, and the spectre of the 1967-1974 military junta still hangs heavy over its modern politics. So why are many Greeks now turning to a party whose emblems and rhetoric, critics say, resemble Hitler’s?

    Golden Dawn denies any such resemblance. In an interview with Reuters at an open-air cafe in the Athens district of Papagou, a traditional neighbourhood for military personnel, Ilias Panagiotaros, a Golden Dawn lawmaker and spokesman, explained the party’s appeal. “Golden Dawn is the only institution in this country that works. Everything else has stopped working or is partially working,” he said.

    “We operate like a well-organized army unit, because the military is the best institution in any country.”

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | November 12, 2012, 8:24 am
  18. This is a reminder that the Muslim Brotherhood and affiliated Islamists aren’t the only ones pushing for blasphemy laws lately. The Golden Dawn, it turns out, has also been asserting that it can discern god-approved speech:

    Christion Science Monitor
    Blasphemy in democracy’s birthplace? Greece arrests Facebook user.

    A Greek man could face two years in prison after being arrested last week for blasphemy after posting a Facebook page that satirized a famous Greek Orthodox monk.

    By Nikolia Apostolou, Correspondent / October 2, 2012


    Blasphemy laws have been the subject of hot debate in recent weeks around the world, particularly in the Muslim world, where such laws are commonplace. But the latest controversy isn’t somewhere in the Muslim world, it’s the cradle of Western civilization: Greece.

    A man was arrested last week in Evia, Greece, on charges of posting “malicious blasphemy and religious insult on the known social networking site, Facebook” according to a press release by the Greek police.

    The accused, whose identity has not been made public, had created and managed the Facebook page Elder Pastitsios the Pastafarian, a name that plays on a combination of Elder Paisios, a famous, late Greek-Orthodox monk, and the Greek food pastitsio, a baked pasta dish made of ground beef and béchamel sauce. The term “pastafarian” is a reference to the satirical pseudo-religion “Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster,” which has been used to lampoon creationism. The picture of Elder Pastitsios has a pastitsio where the monk’s face should be.

    Paisios, who died in 1994, is well-known in Greece for his spiritual teachings. There have been dozens of books published about him and his prophecies, including such topics as the end of the world, the upbringing of children, couples’ relationships, even the diet Paisios supposedly followed. Some high-ranking priests have proposed that the Orthodox Church sanctify him – a kind of elevation to sainthood.

    “Pastitsios was pure satire and without any vulgar language or insults,” the accused said in an interview with the Greek website Pandoras Box, where he explained how he wanted to criticize the commercialization of Paisios. “I take the books and criticize them. I use satire.”

    Greece is among the few countries in the European Union with active blasphemy laws. Under Article 189 of the Greek Criminal Code, those convicted of breaking the law can be imprisoned for up to two years.

    The issue of the Pastitsios page was brought to the attention of the minister of public order by a member of parliament belonging to Golden Dawn, the neo-fascist party that entered the Greek legislature for the first time in May. Golden Dawn’s popularity has been rising, and as a result it is able to influence the public agenda, with the help of the populist Greek media and the government’s fear of losing its more conservative voters.

    “Obviously, the law is irrational since God doesn’t need to be protected by any criminal code,” says Professor Katrougalos. “What the young man did was express himself. For some, it may have been in a distasteful manner but you can’t prosecute taste.”

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | December 3, 2012, 9:59 am
  19. Well, at least he didn’t punch a 12-year old girl while taking a swing at the mayor of Athens. That counts as progress, right? I mean, we’re talking about the Golden Dawn here. When your political movement is this infantile baby steps are about the best one can expect. So congrats to the Golden Dawn lawmaker, your gun went off at the airport but at least you didn’t shoot a 12 year old girl. Job well done:

    Far-right politician’s airport gun gaffe prompts review of Greek lawmakers’ firearms licenses

    By Associated Press, Published: May 30

    ATHENS, Greece — A Greek extreme far-right lawmaker who wanted to travel with his licensed handgun on a domestic flight drew unwanted attention after the firearm accidentally went off during check-in procedures Thursday. Police said nobody was hurt in the incident in a secluded area of Athens International Airport.

    But the gaffe drew broad condemnation from mainstream parties and prompted a quick government decision to review all gun licenses granted to members of Parliament. About 50 of Greece’s 300 lawmakers have such permits, in a country where legal gun ownership is uncommon and strictly regulated.

    Authorities said Thursday’s accident occurred in an office away from the busy airport’s public areas, as Golden Dawn lawmaker Antonis Gregos was handing over the gun to airline officials. Police have ordered an investigation into how a round was apparently left in the chamber after the ammunition clip was removed.

    Nationalist and anti-immigrant Golden Dawn, which rejects the neo-Nazi label attached to it by mainstream parties and international rights groups, holds 18 of Parliament’s 300 seats. More than a dozen of its lawmakers are believed to hold gun permits, although police have declined to issue full details, citing security concerns.

    A party lawmaker has been accused of trying to pull a handgun as he was being restrained by police guards after allegedly trying to punch the mayor of Athens this month.

    A police official told the Associated Press that authorities will now re-examine all politicians’ gun permits to see why they were initially issued, what security concerns were cited and whether they are valid.

    “They will also check whether the necessary psychiatric documentation has been submitted,” the official said on condition of anonymity because he wasn’t authorized to talk to the media on the record. “And obviously the behavior of each lawmaker will play a part — that is whether they were involved in incidents where they threatened to use a gun or made intimidating moves.”

    The incident follows a heated debate over gun-packing politicians, which prompted Parliament to forbid its members to enter the building armed.

    “You can’t have lawmakers who are loony, fascists, populists or idiots walking through (Parliament) with guns,” conservative member of Parliament Fotini Pipili argued before the ban was imposed.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | May 31, 2013, 9:10 am
  20. One of the reasons there are so many anti-fascists in places like Greece is because it’s hard not to notice that the anti-anti-fascists are often pro-murder:

    Anti-fascist protests across Greece turn violent
    AP 4:47 p.m. EDT September 18, 2013

    KERATSINI, Greece (AP) — Violent clashes broke out in several Greek cities Wednesday after a musician described as an anti-fascist activist was stabbed to death by a man who said he belonged to the far-right Golden Dawn party. More than 75 people were detained.

    The death of Pavlos Fyssas, 34, drew condemnation from across Greece’s political spectrum and from abroad. While the extremist Golden Dawn has been blamed for numerous violent attacks in the past, the overnight stabbing is the most serious violence so far directly attributed to a member.

    Golden Dawn leader Nicholas Michaloliakos denied that the party had anything to do with the attack.

    Fyssas, a hip-hop singer whose stage name was Killah P, died in a state hospital early Wednesday after being stabbed twice outside a cafe in the Keratsini area west of Athens.

    Police said a 45-year-old man arrested at the scene admitted to attacking Fyssas and said he belonged to Golden Dawn. A knife with traces of blood was found near his car.

    Clashes broke out Wednesday evening between riot police and thousands of protesters holding anti-fascist demonstrations in Fyssas’ memory in Keratsini and another five cities.

    In Keratsini, violence broke out near the scene of the stabbing, with hundreds of protesters attacking a nearby police station.

    The confrontation lasted more than two hours, with riot police using tear gas to repel youths, who set fire to trash bins and smashed up sidewalks with hammers to throw rocks at police.

    Deputy Prime Minister Evangelos Venizelos, whose Socialist party is part of the coalition government, said Golden Dawn had “violence as its priority and must be dealt with as a criminal organization.”

    Hannes Swoboda, president of the Socialists and Democrats Group in the European Parliament, urged Greek authorities to examine banning the party altogether.

    “Golden Dawn’s openly xenophobic, neo-Nazi hatred even goes as far as murdering political opponents. This is shocking and intolerable by any standards, and more so in a European Union country,” he said.

    The rights group Amnesty International called on authorities to prevent any further incidents.

    “Politically motivated violence of this kind is unacceptable anywhere, and history has shown the grim consequences if it goes unchecked,” said Jezerca Tigani, Amnesty’s deputy Europe and Central Asia program director. “The Greek authorities must send a clear message that attacks like this will not be tolerated.”

    The suspect, who was not named in accordance with Greek law, appeared before a prosecutor Wednesday evening along with his wife, who was arrested on suspicion of concealing evidence. Another couple also appeared in court on similar charges. Five prosecutors have been assigned to the case.

    Golden Dawn, whose senior members have expressed admiration for Adolf Hitler although they deny being neo-Nazi, won nearly 7 percent of the vote in 2012 general elections. Recent opinion polls show its support has since risen to around 12 percent.

    Party members and supporters, often clearly identifiable in black T-shirts and combat pants, have been suspected of beatings and stabbings across the country, usually of dark-skinned migrants. In January, two men identified as party sympathizers were arrested for the fatal stabbing of a Pakistani migrant worker.

    But Wednesday’s killing was the first attributed to a Golden Dawn member, and the most severe attributed to political rather than racial motives.

    “I am shaken by the event,” said Public Order Minister Nikos Dendias, who cancelled a visit to Rome scheduled for Thursday. The killing and other recent violent incidents “show in the clearest possible way the intentions of the neo-Nazi creation.”

    Michaloliakos, the Golden Dawn head, said his party “unreservedly condemns the murder of the 34-year-old at Keratsini and denies any involvement of the party.”

    “All the political parties must assume their responsibilities and not create a climate of civil war, giving a political character to a tragic event,” he said.

    Police spokesman Christos Parthenis said the suspect drove to the scene of an altercation between two groups of people, got out of the car and stabbed Fyssas. Friends of the victim told Greek media they had been attacked by a large group of men as they left the cafe.

    Golden Dawn lawmaker Michalis Avranitis offered a different version of events, saying the victim and the suspect had initially argued about a soccer match.

    “Yes, this man, as it turns out, has declared himself to be a member of Golden Dawn. But Golden Dawn has 1 million supporters,” Avranitis said in Parliament. “If, in a restaurant, two drunken idiots have a fight and someone is stabbed, should we look at their ideology and blame that?”

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | September 18, 2013, 1:33 pm
  21. While Capone’s murder of Joe Howard, for instance, does indeed share an eery similarity to the Golden Dawn’s campaign of violence in Greece, the ghost of Al Capone must be taking serious issue with the comparison:

    Greece investigates police links to far-right party after killing

    By Harry Papachristou

    ATHENS | Mon Sep 23, 2013 9:51pm BST

    (Reuters) – Greece suspended several senior police officers on Monday and launched an investigation into possible police links with a far-right party, after the killing of an anti-racism rapper raised concerns about the force.

    Pavlos Fissas’s stabbing by a supporter of the Golden Dawn party last week revived accusations that police were turning a blind eye to its activities or had even been infiltrated by it.

    A man who said he had a “loose” connection with Golden Dawn has been charged with Fissas’s murder but the party, Greece’s third most popular, has denied involvement.

    The investigation comes as Prime Minister Antonis Samaras’s government tries to rein in a party that has surged in popularity during Greece’s economic crisis. With its vehemently anti-immigrant rhetoric, Golden Dawn is often blamed for attacks against immigrants, something it denies.

    The public order ministry ordered the investigation after media reports alleged police were “actively involved” with the party’s activities and may have participated in illegal acts.

    Five senior national police officials as well as the police chiefs in the Athens neighbourhoods of Nikaia and of Keratsini, where the killing occurred, have been replaced, the police said in a statement.

    “The minister is determined to dispel any shadow of doubt that hangs over the force,” the statement said.

    Four police officials in Evia, in central Greece, were suspended for failing to investigate why people had been found carrying weapons, including baseball bats, near Golden Dawn offices in the area, the public order ministry said.

    Two other high-ranking police officials also resigned, citing personal reasons, it added.

    Golden Dawn leader Nikos Mihaloliakos said moves to ban the party would not succeed.

    “Golden Dawn is everywhere. It has spread to every city, to every village,” Mihaloliakos said in a video live-streamed on the party’s website. “It’s in every neighbourhood and you will not be able to contain it. Deal with it!”

    Mihaloliakos said the party was victim of a “dirty attack by a corrupt system” and vowed to prove its innocence.

    “We are asked to prove that … I am not Al Capone, that we are not the mafia,” he said. “And I would like to ask – it is a rhetorical question of course – is there a bigger criminal gang than that which bankrupt the country?”

    Police have often refused to investigate racist attacks by Golden Dawn members on immigrants, newspaper Eleftherotypia reported on Monday, citing a leader of the Pakistani community in Athens.

    he party, with an emblem resembling a swastika, denies accusations of violence. Its members have been seen giving Nazi-style salutes but the party rejects the neo-Nazi label. Mihaloliakos has publicly denied the Holocaust.

    Golden Dawn rose from being a fringe party to win 18 parliamentary seats in a June 2012 election. But support fell by 2.5 percentage points to 5.8 percent after the stabbing and most Greeks believe it threatens democracy, a poll showed on Monday.

    When asked to described the party, 47 percent of those polled called it a “fascist organisation”, 31 percent called it a “criminal organisation under the guise of a political party”, and 16.9 percent saw it as a “populist nationalist movement”.

    It isn’t always easy being the ghost of Al Capone.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | September 23, 2013, 7:51 pm
  22. Classical fascism in action: With support collapsing following the murder of an anti-fascist musician, it looks like the Golden Dawn is going to play the “foreigners are out to get us!” card:

    Golden Dawn remains defiant amid Greek revulsion at musician’s murder

    Far-right party’s leader threatens to ‘open the gates of hell’ as inquiry presents evidence of collusion with security forces
    Helena Smith in Athens
    theguardian.com, Wednesday 25 September 2013 13.29 EDT

    Thousands of Greeks have taken to the streets to denounce the murder of a rap musician stabbed to death by a member of the far-right Golden Dawn as a government inquiry presented evidence of widespread infiltration of security forces by the ultra-nationalist party.

    The organisation has denied any involvement in the killing of Pavlos Fyssas and the party’s leader, Nikos Michaloliakos, warned that what he described as mud-slinging and slander “would open the gates of hell”.

    Golden Dawn, whose emblem resembles the swastika, said the media was behind a “dirty war” to annihilate it and singled out the Guardian – “the newspaper of capitalists in the City” – for inciting violence against the group. “[All of which] proves, exactly, the role of certain embassies in the entire operation to dismantle [Golden Dawn],” it said.

    The statement was posted on the party’s website after a survey by the polling company Alco showed support for the group dropping by four percentage points, from 10.8%, in the wake of the fatal stabbing.

    The overwhelming majority of respondents blamed Golden Dawn – whose meteoric rise on the back of economic discontent has made it Greece’s third-largest party – for the escalating violence.

    Last week’s killing not only convulsed Greek society but prompted a number of former Golden Dawn sympathisers and cadres to break their silence. The picture that has emerged is of an organisation run as a chain of cells with a strict chain of command leading all the way up to Michaloliakos, a mathematician who founded the party more than 20 years ago.

    Members have spoken of collusion with the police – who in one video are seen giving cover to Golden Dawn supporters during street battles against anti-fascists – and special forces from whom they have claimed to have received training in clandestine camps.

    Stepping up investigations into whether Golden dawn acted as “a criminal neo-Nazi” organisation, judicial authorities have signalled that at least five more party cadres will be charged in connection with Fyssas’s murder.

    Public order minister Nikos Dendias, who ordered the probe into Golden Dawn, said he had sent further evidence of the extremists’ complicity in attacks on immigrants, leftists and trade unionists to Greece’s supreme court. The file chronicles more than 150 incidents in a dossier of violence dating back to 1992. It comes in addition to human rights groups linking the neo-fascist party to over 300 assaults, mostly on dark-skinned migrants, in the three years since debt-stricken Greece descended into economic crisis.

    Antonis Samaras’ fragile coalition has pledged to cut off state funding to the party if it is found to be connected to the murder. Golden Dawn has vehemently denied any involvement in the crime, despite the man who has confessed to the killing claiming allegiance to the group.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | September 26, 2013, 9:02 pm
  23. Greek political talk shows are probably going to get a lot more, uh, ‘action packedfollowing this ruling:

    Greek Ultra-Right Lawmaker Cleared Over TV Talk Show Slap

    MARCH 6, 2015, 9:56 A.M. E.S.T.

    ATHENS, Greece — A lawmaker from a Nazi-inspired Greek party was acquitted Friday of a charge stemming from an attack on two female left-wing colleagues during a live TV talk show.

    An Athens court found that Ilias Kassidiaris did not cause the women grievous bodily harm, as he had been charged.

    TV footage of the 2012 incident showed Kassidiaris repeatedly slapping one woman and throwing a glass of water at another before running away. The attack followed an exchange of verbal abuse.

    The defendant is one of several Golden Dawn lawmakers held in pre-trial custody on separate charges for allegedly running a criminal organization.

    Judges ruled Friday that the attack was not as severe as described in the charges. Kassidiaris was not convicted of plain assault, because that would have required a formal complaint from his victims, that was never made.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | March 6, 2015, 9:43 am

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