Greece orders crackdown on far-right Golden Dawn party

Supporter’s killing of rapper last week has prompted protests across the country

Athens

Thousands of Greeks have congregated in Athens and around the country to condemn the killing of a young rapper by a far-right supporter last week, as the government continued its crackdown on the Golden Dawn party in response to the murder.

In the wake of the killing of Pavlos Fyssas the Greek government has set out to target the party, after the man held for the attack admitted his involvement with the far-right group.

The government intends to charge any politicians involved in criminal activity under anti-terrorism laws, while also proposing an interruption to state funding for parties they belong to, in an effort to restrict Golden Dawn’s influence. The party emerged from relative anonymity in last year’s elections, grabbing a staggering 7 per cent of the vote. Its senior members have expressed admiration for Adolf Hitler although they deny being neo-Nazis.

Before Fysass’s brutal death, studies suggested it was the country’s third-strongest party.

Hip-hop artist Nikitas Klint, a friend of the victim, said Fyssas’s death could be a catalyst for change in Greece. “The climate is intense because there’s always been bickering between political parties... but we must show unity and reason against the crazy neo-Nazis,” he told The Independent.

While the investigation of over 30 criminal cases tied to Golden Dawn politicians is ongoing, a poll by Alco suggests the party’s popularity has dropped 4 per cent since last June. But experts say it is premature to draw conclusions. According to the survey, many Golden Dawn voters have flocked to ruling conservatives New Democracy or are, allegedly, “undecided”.

“After such a dramatic event as an assassination attributed to a Golden Dawn militant, party voters will now either conceal their party preferences or will abandon them,” Dimitri Sotiropoulos, Associate Professor of Politics at the University of Athens, explains. “While it is a hopeful and promising event that electoral influence of Golden Dawn is diminishing, one has to wait to see that the poll pattern is at least repeated two more times in the next month or so.”

A number of senior police officers have been distanced from the party probe to ensure “absolute objectivity”, it has been reported. A survey conducted during the country’s last elections exposed the preference of many police voters for the far-right party. A young policeman who spoke on condition of anonymity admitted he voted for Golden Dawn last year to protest mainstream agendas but never expected the party to become so ‘extreme’. “We’re not hardcore fascists … I expected them to keep a low profile once in Parliament,” he said. “But they went too far, now.”

Hip-hop artist Pavlos Fyssas was stabbed to death last week (Getty) Hip-hop artist Pavlos Fyssas was stabbed to death last week (Getty)  

A police raid at Golden Dawn offices in the western town of Agrinio earlier this week uncovered an axe, shotgun cartridges and shields, as well as police helmets and other material, some belonging to a 45-year old police guard that was arrested.

The extreme-right party has rebuffed links to the musician’s murder and is fighting back, saying it is being attacked because of its recent popularity. Golden Dawn cites a recent study predicting the party’s win at the Athens municipal elections next May.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Facilities Coordinator

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Facilities Coordinator is required to join a...

Recruitment Genius: Project Manager - Software House - PRINCE2, PMP

£35000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A dynamic, customer oriented Pr...

Recruitment Genius: Relationship Sales Advisor

£18000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an inbound relationship...

Recruitment Genius: Electrician - Based in Petersfield

£19600 - £25800 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Working in the South, based in ...

Day In a Page

Greece says 'No': A night of huge celebrations in Athens as voters decisively back Tsipras and his anti-austerity stance in historic referendum

Greece referendum

Greeks say 'No' to austerity and plunge Europe into crisis
Ten years after the 7/7 terror attacks, is Britain an altered state?

7/7 bombings anniversary

Ten years after the terror attacks, is Britain an altered state?
Beautiful evening dresses are some of the loveliest Donatella has created

Versace haute couture review

Beautiful evening dresses are some of the loveliest Donatella has ever created
No hope and no jobs, so Gaza's young risk their lives, climb the fence and run for it

No hope and no jobs in Gaza

So the young risk their lives and run for it
Fashion apps: Retailers roll together shopping and social networking for mobile customers

Fashion apps

Retailers roll together shopping and social networking for mobile customers
The Greek referendum exposes a gaping hole at the heart of the European Union – its distinct lack of any genuine popular legitimacy

Gaping hole at the heart of the European Union

Treatment of Greece has shown up a lack of genuine legitimacy
Number of young homeless in Britain 'more than three times the official figures'

'Everything changed when I went to the hostel'

Number of young homeless people in Britain is 'more than three times the official figures'
Compton Cricket Club

Compton Cricket Club

Portraits of LA cricketers from notorious suburb to be displayed in London
London now the global money-laundering centre for the drug trade, says crime expert

Wlecome to London, drug money-laundering centre for the world

'Mexico is its heart and London is its head'
The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court that helps a winner keep on winning

The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court

It helps a winner keep on winning
Is this the future of flying: battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks?

Is this the future of flying?

Battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks
Isis are barbarians – but the Caliphate is a dream at the heart of all Muslim traditions

Isis are barbarians

but the Caliphate is an ancient Muslim ideal
The Brink's-Mat curse strikes again: three tons of stolen gold that brought only grief

Curse of Brink's Mat strikes again

Death of John 'Goldfinger' Palmer the latest killing related to 1983 heist
Greece debt crisis: 'The ministers talk to us about miracles' – why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum

'The ministers talk to us about miracles'

Why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum
Call of the wild: How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate

Call of the wild

How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate