Archive for Golden Dawn

MPs From Greece’s Neo-Nazi Golden Dawn Party Arrested for Racist Attack on Pakistani

Posted in Loon Violence with tags , , , , , , , , , on June 5, 2012 by loonwatch

Fascists doing what they do best:

MPs from Greek neo-Nazi party Golden Dawn arrested over racist attack

by Paul Hamilos (The Guardian)

Two newly elected MPs from the neo-Nazi Golden Dawn party were among six people arrested over an attack on a Pakistani man in Athens, in the latest in a series of incidents that have raised fears that Greece‘s immigrants are being targeted in the runup to this month’s crucial elections.

Ilias Panagiotaros and Ioannis Vouldis were briefly held alongside the daughter of Nikos Michaloliakos, Golden Dawn’s leader, but were later released. According to police, the attack took place late on Friday when a group involved in a protest turned on a 31-year-old Pakistani bypasser.

Golden Dawn confirmed two of its MPs had been held, but denied they took part in the attack. “[They] could not have been involved because they were miles away,”it said in a statement.

Golden Dawn caused consternation across Europe after winning 7% of the vote in Greece’s elections in May, giving them 21 seats. It is the first time the far right has sat in parliament since the fall of the military junta in 1974. With their neo-Nazi insignia, violent rhetoric and calls to expel Greece’s immigrants, Golden Dawn’s leaders are hoping to exploit political instability in Greece to gain further ground in elections called for 17 June after no party was able to form a government following last month’s vote.

In the run-up to the first election, Golden Dawn ran TV ads with the campaign slogan, “Let’s rid this country of the stench.” On election night Michaloliakos dedicated their success to “all the brave youngsters who wear black T-shirts with Golden Dawn written in white”. Unemployment in Greece now stands at at 22%, and 52% among young people, and the party has sought to capitalise on a mood of fear across a country that is struggling to come to terms with rising crime, falling living standards and a feeling that it is on the brink of economic and political meltdow.

Greece’s 1 million immigrants have become an easy target for neo-Nazi and other far-right groups, who regularly parade through Athens chanting racist slogans.

On Saturday the youth wing of the leftwing Syriza party condemned the attack, saying: “An orgy of violence and murderous attacks is taking place in the streets of Athens … Those who think they will address the immigration issue with knives, swords and minefields along the borders have no place in our neighbourhoods, even less so in parliament.”

The elections, seen as a referendum on Greece’s membership of the euro, will be a tightly fought contest between the conservative New Democracy party and Syriza.

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Golden Dawn MPs Refuse to Stand When 3 Muslims Sworn into Greece’s Parliament on the Qur’an

Posted in Loon Politics, Loon Violence with tags , , , , , , , , , on May 18, 2012 by loonwatch

The Golden Dawn sure are making a name for themselves and I bet the Islamophobes love their antics. (h/t:HSMoghul)

The parliament that was elected on May 6 also convened for a brief session on Thursday, when lawmakers from the far-right Golden Dawn party marched into parliament for the first time.

Deputies from the party, whose members give Nazi-style salutes, refused to stand when three Muslim lawmakers were sworn in on the Koran during the oath ceremony.

You will recall that there was similar outrage in the US, mainly from Right-wingers when Keith Ellison was sworn into Congress with his hand on the Quran. Recall that one of the leading hate-mongers, Robert Spencer remarked,

“I hope there will be some who have the courage to point out that no American official should be taking an oath on the Qur’an.”

Polls Show Greece Electing Pro-Bailout Government

ATHENS (Reuters) – Greek voters are returning to the establishment parties that negotiated its bailout, a poll showed on Thursday, offering potential salvation for European leaders who say a snap Greek election next month will decide whether it must quit the euro.

The poll, the first conducted since talks to form a governmentcollapsed and a new election was called for June 17, showed the conservative New Democracy party in first place, several points ahead of the radical leftist SYRIZA which has pledged to tear up the bailout.

EU leaders say that without the bailout, Greece would be headed for certain bankruptcy and ejection from the common currency, which would sow financial destruction across the continent. The prospect SYRIZA would win the election has sent the euro and markets across the continent plummeting this week.

The poll predicted New Democracy would win 26.1 percent of the vote compared to 23.7 percent for SYRIZA.

Crucially, it showed that along with the Socialist PASOK party, New Democracy would have enough seats to form a pro-bailout government, which it failed to win in an election on May 6, forcing a new vote and prompting a political crisis that has put the future of the euro in doubt.

Polls last week had showed SYRIZA well in front, with anti-bailout voters rallying behind its charismatic 37-year-old leader Alexis Tsipras. First place comes with a bonus of 50 extra seats in the 300-seat parliament, so even a tiny edge would be pivotal in determining who forms the next government.

The election is still a month away, and Greek voters have been fickle. Experts warned against drawing any strong conclusions from a single poll. Nevertheless, a trend that had shown SYRIZA surging ahead appears to have turned.

“It seems people vented their anger in the election and then they got scared. They disliked that there was no government and they got worried about a possible exit from the euro,” political analyst John Loulis said of the surprise poll result.

“Still, voters are far from enthusiastic with New Democracy. Things are still volatile. The outcome of the elections will depend on who will make the fewest mistakes.”

Rating agency Fitch underscored the high stakes, downgrading Greece’s debt a further notch below investment grade to CCC.

“In the event that the new general elections scheduled for 17 June fail to produce a government with a mandate to continue with the EU-IMF program of fiscal austerity and structural reform, an exit of Greece from (the euro) would be probable,” the ratings agency said in a statement.

Earlier on Thursday Tsipras predicted his party would sweep next month’s election and refused to give up his demand for an end to “barbaric” austerity policies he said were bankrupting the nation.

“They are trying to terrorize the people to make SYRIZA cave in. We will never compromise,” the ex-Communist student leader told his party’s lawmakers, often addressing them as “comrades”.

“We will never participate in a government to rescue the bailout,” he said. “The Greek people voted for an end to the bailout and barbaric austerity. They ignored the threats and the cheap propaganda. And we are certain they will do the same now.”

“HUMILIATING EXIT”

An emergency government led by a judge and made up of mainly professors, technocrats and a few politicians was sworn in on Thursday in a ceremony presided over by the Archbishop Ieronimos of Athens.

The government has been tasked solely with taking the country to the next election and will not be permitted to take political decisions, meaning Greece will fall further behind on the reforms it has pledged to carry out to receive rescue loans.

At his first cabinet meeting, caretaker Prime Minister Panagiotis Pikrammenos told ministers they would receive no salary and urged them to dispense with frills like limousines or business trips.

The parliament that was elected on May 6 also convened for a brief session on Thursday, when lawmakers from the far-right Golden Dawn party marched into parliament for the first time.

Deputies from the party, whose members give Nazi-style salutes, refused to stand when three Muslim lawmakers were sworn in on the Koran during the oath ceremony.

The parliament is expected to be dissolved later this week ahead of the election in June.

Members of Greece’s Neo-Nazi Golden Dawn Party Took Part in Srebrenica Genocide

Posted in Loon Politics, Loon Violence with tags , , , , , , , , , on May 17, 2012 by loonwatch

Golden_Dawn_Neo-Nazi

Golden Dawn

The Greek neo-Nazi party, The Golden Dawn has won 7% of the vote in Greece. According to Neni Panourgia, members of the Golden Dawn were also a part of the massacres in Srebrenica, Bosnia (h.t: HSMoghul),

Golden Dawn gained notoriety after 1991, when it started attacking the first Albanian immigrants and after some of its members participated in the Srebrenica massacre. The organisation registered as a political party in 1993 and first won political representation in 2010, when Michaloliakos was elected to the Athens City Council.

Neni describes the Golden Dawn as a “European problem”:

Greece’s neo-Nazi Golden Dawn is a European problem

by Neni Panourgia (AlJazeera English)

New York, New York – By now, nearly everybody has been exposed to the phenomenon of Golden Dawn (Chrysi Avgi in Greek), the neo-Nazi organisation that received almost 7 per cent of the vote in the Greek elections of May 6.

After the initial shock, the question “How is this possible?” was followed by the legitimate worry: “Are Greeks becoming fascists?” Some commentators on various blogs (many of them from northern and western Europe) even left messages urging the Greek electorate to feel shame, the deeper the better, for this unsightly and frightening development.

But let’s set a few things straight. First of all, Golden Dawn, despite its recent claims, is indeed a neo-Nazi party. Their ideology, which they describe on their website as “Popular and Social Nationalism”, gives their precise coordinates within Nazi ideology.

So do the origins of their party, which was founded by Nikolaos Michaloliakos in 1985 under a direct order from the imprisoned leader of the Greek junta, George Papadopoulos. And so do their self-representation, language and tactics. The official publication of Golden Dawn runs articles praising the Nazis and often places photographs of Hitler, Himmler, and Nazi gatherings on its front cover. The members of the organisation have the same uneducated, invented, and highly idiosyncratic understanding of ancient Greece as the Nazis did.

And their tactics are virtually indistinguishable from Nazi terrorist tactics: they terrorise immigrants, leftists, and journalists; they beat and maul teachers and students; they have infiltrated athletic clubs and have introduced hooliganism to the Greek landscape; and they have assumed the role of vigilantes and protectors of the general public. Some of those attacks have been documented, and the Golden Dawn-affiliated perpetrators have gone on trial and been imprisoned.

The history of the organisation is inextricably connected to the history of Michaloliakos, whose first public intervention in 1976 was an attack on journalists who were covering the funeral of the junta torturer Evangelos Mallios, who had been executed by the urban guerrilla organisation 17 November. Arrested and briefly detained, Michaloliakos met the leaders of the military junta in jail. Two years after his release he engaged in a series of bombings of public places in Athens, for which he was indicted. Golden Dawn gained notoriety after 1991, when it started attacking the first Albanian immigrants and after some of its members participated in the Srebrenica massacre. The organisation registered as a political party in 1993 and first won political representation in 2010, when Michaloliakos was elected to the Athens City Council.

It is doubtful, however, whether the 21 Golden Dawn deputies will ever enter the Greek parliament (legally, that is). We now know that no coalition government can be formed (without a gross violation of the Constitution), which means that new elections will be held, probably on June 17. Yesterday’s polls showed that 76 per cent of the Greek electorate expects Golden Dawn to lose most of its vote, with a large number of those polled expressing doubts that it would even win the 3 per cent needed to enter parliament.

Two questions remain, however, regardless of whether Golden Dawn ever enters parliament. The first one is a question of democracy: namely, what sorts of legitimate steps are available to democratic polities when they face the development of a totalitarian, racist, exclusionary formulation that actively engages in violent acts that severely restrict the civil and human rights of others? I argue that when a state is faced not simply with ideas but with themateriality of actions, then the state is obligated to outlaw them and the media are obligated to report on them. In Greece this is a multiply complex issue, since what I suggest was used from the beginning of the 20th century as the groundwork upon which the elimination of the left took place, based on fabricated accusations.

A second question remains: Why would Greeks, who fought against totalitarianism in massive numbers and paid one of the heaviest tolls in Europe for their participation in the resistance against Nazi Germany, vote for this despicable, emetic, and deeply anti-political formation, even as a protest?

What we need to keep in mind is that this tolerance of violence in the public sphere, especially violence that is directed towards the unarmed and the unprotected, is the result of the state’s long-term suppression of dissent and the collaboration of the police forces with right-wing extremists whose violent tactics the police have used. This tolerance is evident even in mundane instances, such as when, in 1999, the ludicrous Gerasimos Yakoumatos, a deputy and member of the centre-right New Democracy party, wanting to show the Minister of Public Order that he “meant business”, walked into Parliament brandishing his (legally obtained) revolver as protest for his house having been burglarised by immigrants the previous evening. Not only was this tolerated, but he was not arrested and was not in any way reprimanded.

The Greek polity has always found itself in a tug-of-war. On one end, there is a wide, democratic, proceduralist, but largely powerless (and ultimately apathetic) body politic. On the other end, there is a small but powerful authoritarian class that constitutes the core of state structures. Decades of brutal suppression of dissent has relied upon various para-state and paramilitary organisations. Police brutality, hooliganism, and the deep-seated intimacy between fragments of the police force and Golden Dawn have made the organisation’s temporary surge possible.

There is no right, centre, or left distinction in this, if by left one means the nominally socialist PASOK party. All post-junta Greek governments have availed themselves of this intimate relationship, as all Greek governments, at least from the early years of the 20th century, have invested more energy and resources into producing a polity that relies on snitches and turncoats than in producing responsible, accountable, and democratically minded citizens. For example, in the summer of 2002, as the dismantling of 17 November was taking place, the Greek prime minister – clearly at the behest of the British and the American antiterrorist secret services – asked the citizens to report anyone who appeared to be suspicious and dangerous.

A month ago I wrote in the Anthropology Newsletter about the claim that under the current circumstances in Europe, in which the social welfare state is being eviscerated and the destitute are pitted against the poor, the distinction between right and left is no longer useful. I argue, however, that it is precisely now that the elision of such a distinction is pregnant with dangers that the world has faced before.

The neo-cons, the neo-fascists, and the neo-Nazis have been selectively appropriating leftist discourses and practices in order to obscure and obfuscate the distinctions between left and right. Michaloliakos, the coddled child of the junta, uses the term “junta” pejoratively (to indicate the totally inept but democratically elected Greek government, the press, and the memorandum), calls the actions of Golden Dawn “national resistance” when he instigates violence against immigrants and politicians, and has warned about an “uprising of the masses”.

Europe stands on the head of a needle, steeped in a crisis that threatens the foundational premises of democracy, self-determination, and autonomy. Golden Dawn is a European problem, not a limited and containable Greek one. It is a European problem because its ideology developed and flourished in Germany and Italy of the early 20th century. It is not a “natural”, essential, ontological property of Greece, and it is intractably connected to the moralistic and punitive positions that have organised the actions of the troika that put the bailout packages together.

When people are pushed to the brink, ugly things happen, and the troika (and particularly Merkel) ought never to forget the warning of George Santayana: “Those who forget history are condemned to repeat it”.