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.

News
Susan Sarandon described David Bowie as
peopleSusan Sarandon reveals more on her David Bowie romance
Sport
sportDidier Drogba returns to Chelsea on one-year deal
Arts and Entertainment
The Secret Cinema performance of Back to the Future has been cancelled again
film
News
people
PROMOTED VIDEO
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
Arts and Entertainment
Christian Grey cradles Ana in the Fifty Shades of Grey film
filmFifty Shades of Grey trailer provokes moral outrage in US
Sport
Louis van Gaal would have been impressed with Darren Fletcher’s performance against LA Galaxy during Manchester United’s 7-0 victory
football
Voices
The new dawn heralded by George Osborne has yet to rise
voicesJames Moore: As the Tories rub their hands together, the average voter will be asking why they're not getting a piece of the action
Sport
Dejan Lovren celebrates scoring for Southampton although the goal was later credited to Adam Lallana
sport
News
newsComedy club forced to apologise as maggots eating a dead pigeon fall out of air-conditioning
Arts and Entertainment
Jo Brand says she's mellowed a lot
tvJo Brand says shows encourage people to laugh at the vulnerable
Life and Style
People may feel that they're procrastinating by watching TV in the evening
life
Sport
Rhys Williams
commonwealth games
News
Isis fighters travel in a vehicle as they take part in a military parade along the streets of Syria's northern Raqqa province
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Southern charm: Nicolas Cage and Tye Sheridan in ‘Joe’
filmReview: Actor delivers astonishing performance in low budget drama
Life and Style
fashionLatex dresses hit the catwalk to raise awareness for HIV and Aids
Travel
travel
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
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

Senior Risk Manager - Banking - London - £650

£600 - £650 per day: Orgtel: Conduct Risk Liaison Manager - Banking - London -...

Commercial Litigation Associate

Highly Attractive Package: Austen Lloyd: CITY - COMMERCIAL LITIGATION - GLOBAL...

Systems Manager - Dynamics AX

£65000 - £75000 per annum + Benefits: Progressive Recruitment: The client is a...

Service Delivery Manager (Software Development, Testing)

£40000 - £45000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A well-established software house ba...

Day In a Page

Finding the names for America’s shame: What happens to the immigrants crossing the US-Mexico border without documents who never make it past the Arizona desert?

Finding the names for America’s shame

The immigrants crossing the US-Mexico border without documents who never make it past the Arizona desert
Backhanders, bribery and abuses of power have soared in China as economy surges

Bribery and abuses of power soar in China

The bribery is fuelled by the surge in China's economy but the rules of corruption are subtle and unspoken, finds Evan Osnos, as he learns the dark arts from a master
Commonwealth Games 2014: Highland terriers stole the show at the opening ceremony

Highland terriers steal the show at opening ceremony

Gillian Orr explores why a dog loved by film stars and presidents is finally having its day
German art world rocked as artists use renowned fat sculpture to distil schnapps

Brewing the fat from artwork angers widow of sculptor

Part of Joseph Beuys' 1982 sculpture 'Fettecke' used to distil schnapps
BBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past

BBC takes viewers back down memory lane

The Secret History of Our Streets, which returns with three films looking at Scottish streets, is the inverse of Benefits Street - delivering warmth instead of cynicism
Joe, film review: Nicolas Cage delivers an astonishing performance in low budget drama

Nicolas Cage shines in low-budget drama Joe

Cage plays an ex-con in David Gordon Green's independent drama, which has been adapted from a novel by Larry Brown
How to make your own gourmet ice lollies, granitas, slushy cocktails and frozen yoghurt

Make your own ice lollies and frozen yoghurt

Think outside the cool box for this summer's tempting frozen treats
Ford Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time, with sales topping 4.1 million since 1976

Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time

Sales have topped 4.1 million since 1976. To celebrate this milestone, four Independent writers recall their Fiestas with pride
10 best reed diffusers

Heaven scent: 10 best reed diffusers

Keep your rooms smelling summery and fresh with one of these subtle but distinctive home fragrances that’ll last you months
Commonwealth Games 2014: Female boxers set to compete for first time

Female boxers set to compete at Commonwealth Games for first time

There’s no favourites and with no headguards anything could happen
Five things we’ve learned so far about Manchester United under Louis van Gaal

Five things we’ve learned so far about United under Van Gaal

It’s impossible to avoid the impression that the Dutch manager is playing to the gallery a little
Screwing your way to the top? Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth

Screwing your way to the top?

Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, says Grace Dent
Will the young Britons fighting in Syria be allowed to return home and resume their lives?

Will Britons fighting in Syria be able to resume their lives?

Tony Blair's Terrorism Act 2006 has made it an offence to take part in military action abroad with a "political, ideological, religious or racial motive"
Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter, the wartime poster girl who became a feminist pin-up

Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter

The wartime poster girl became the ultimate American symbol of female empowerment
The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones: Are custom, 3D printed earbuds the solution?

The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones

Earphones don't fit properly, offer mediocre audio quality and can even be painful. So the quest to design the perfect pair is music to Seth Stevenson's ears