Damian Mac Con Uladh

Posts Tagged ‘Golden Dawn’

Youth vote for Golden Dawn for racist/supremacist reasons, study finds

In Greece on 20 October 2014 at 12:19 pm
Golden Dawn has also been targeting future voters, as this photograph shows

Golden Dawn has also been targeting future voters, as this photograph shows

Young people who voted for Golden Dawn in 2012 did so out of ideological conviction and not for reasons stemming from the economic crisis, a new study from a leading Athens university shows.

Conducted by researchers at the Panteion University, the study also found that the level of identification among Golden Dawn’s young voters with its aims was higher than for youth who backed other parties. These voters generally view Golden Dawn as a “nationalist party”, rejecting as “despicable” its description as “fascist” or “neonazi” even though they recognise that there are ideological affinities between it and fascism.

For them, Golden Dawn is a “patriotic-nationalist” party, which “puts the Greeks above everything else”. The almost total identification with the party’s “nationalist” ideology, expressed through the pride these young voters feel as Greeks pride, stems from the belief that Greeks are superior to other people historically and culturally.

“When we had civilisation, others were living in trees,” one male voter aged 24 told the researchers, repeating a phrase often found in Golden Dawn’s “theoretical” texts.

In the June 2012 elections, Golden Dawn was the second most popular party in the 18–34 age group.

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All Golden Dawn MPs should face criminal trial, prosecutor recommends

In Greece on 17 October 2014 at 10:28 am

All 18 MPs elected with the neonazi Golden Dawn party in 2012 should stand trial for membership of a criminal organisation, a prosecutor said on Thursday, in a massive 698-page report submitted to judges.

In total, prosecutor Isidoros Dogiakos, who is handling the Golden Dawn case, recommended that 67 out of a total of 81 people accused in the case be indicted on criminal charges. As one of the accused was underage at the time, he should face the juvenile court.

Of the remaining 14 people, Dogiakos said there was insufficient evidence against nine of them but that three should face misdemeanour charges.

“A party that seeks to achieve its goals through the use of physical or armed force is not legal,” Dogiakos said in his report, stressing that the courts have the right to judge a political party as a criminal organisation.

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Family of murdered Golden Dawn member demand party stop using his image

In Greece on 15 October 2014 at 10:44 am

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The family of one of two Golden Dawn members who were shot dead in a gun attack last year is seeking a court injunction to ban the neonazi party from using his name image for political purposes.

Manos Kapelonis, 22, and Yiorgos Fountoulis, 26, were standing outside a Golden Dawn branch office in the northern Athens suburb of Neo Iraklio when a masked man opened fire, killing one on them instantly and leaving the other fatally wounded. A third man was injured in the 1 November 2013 attack.

Accoring to a report in Ethnos newspaper, Kapelonis’ parents and sister have now asked Athens first instance court to prohibit Golden Dawn from using their dead son’s name and image for political purposes, which they say is “absolutely incompatible with the nature of his beliefs and ideals and is offensive to his personality”.

The case is due to be heard on 23 November. On Tuesday, the court officials rejected to give the family a temporary injunction banning the party from using Kapelonis name and image until the case comes before court.

Since the killing, Golden Dawn has erected banners depicting Kapelonis and Fountoulis on party offices across the country as well as on a roadside billboard on highway south of Athens. Their faces also appear as backdrops in Golden Dawn televised broadcasts. Kapelonis’ family says that these giant images of their deceased loved one, which they see regularly, causes them immense emotional pain.

In May, Lampros Fountoulis, the father of Yiorgos Fountoulis, the other victim of the attack, was elected an MEP for Golden Dawn.

Two weeks after the double murder, a group styling itself as the Militant Popular Revolutionary Forces claimed responsibility for the attack, for which no one has been arrested.

Baltakos plans new rightwing force with ‘serious’ Golden Dawn figures, claims report

In Uncategorized on 6 October 2014 at 11:56 am
Takis Baltakos and Ilias Kasidiaris

Takis Baltakos and Ilias Kasidiaris (Photo: Ethnos.gr)

Takis Baltakos, the former cabinet secretary and righthand man of Prime Minister Antonis Samaras, is planning a new rightwing political force that could include “serious” figures from Golden Dawn, a Sunday newspaper has reported.

Baltakos was forced to resign in April after a video surfaced showing him engaged in what appeared to be a friendly conversation in his parliamentary office, with leading Golden Dawn MP Ilias Kasidiaris.

According to Ethnos on Sunday, Baltakos hopes to have the new party established by February at the latest. The newspaper also claims that Kasidiaris, currently in custody pending trial along with other Golden Dawn leaders on charges of running a criminal organisation, is involved in this venture.

Excluded from the party would be Golden Dawn’s leader, Nikos Michaoliakos, who, along with other Golden Dawn figures, is viewed by those planning the new entity as a liability.

Since his resignation as the most powerful official in the government, Baltakos has made no secret of his political plans. Asked in August if he will form a new party, he said that “when the time comes, everything will have been done”.

In a frank interview with To Vima in August, Baltakos, who described the Orthodox church and armed forces as “pillars of the nation”, said that it was imperative for New Democracy to swing to the right to win over the 16.5% of the electorate that lies to its extreme.

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Golden Dawn figures jailed for attempted murder

In General on 23 September 2014 at 10:38 am
Golden Dawn members outside the migrant detention centre in Corinth. Inset: Vasilis Siatounis (Photo: Ethnos.gr)

Golden Dawn members outside the migrant detention centre in Corinth in 2012. Inset: Vasilis Siatounis (Photo: Ethnos.gr)

An Athens court on Monday handed a former member of Golden Dawn’s central committee and local election candidate for the neonazi party a 11½-year prison sentence after it found him and an accomplice guilty of attempted murder and the possession and use of weapons.

The Athens mixed jury court found Vasilis Siatounis and Athanasios Stratos guilty of participating in a gang attack on the Antipnoia anarchist space in Kato Petralona on 30 June 2008, in which a Greek and a Spanish national were stabbed. Stratos received a 13½-year prison sentence for his role in the attack.

Four people were attending a Spanish language course at the centre, when a man wearing a helmet entered the room yelling “Greetings from Golden Dawn! You’re going to die, w*nkers!” He was followed by a group of 10-15 people holding knives and batons, who, following orders, set about attacking those inside, wounding two people, one of them seriously. According to the prosecutor, the room was left “covered in blood and unrecognisable” after the “cowardly invasion”.

Identifying Stratos as his assailant, one of the victims said he was hit on the head with a chair and was stabbed in the knee and buttocks. He subsequently spent 20 days in hospital and required eight blood transfusions.

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Video shows Golden Dawn’s No 2 teaching children to chant ‘Heil Hitler!’

In General on 22 September 2014 at 10:45 am
Photographs showing a younger Christos Pappas giving a Nazi salute against a Nazi flag backdop surfaced last October. Now a video has emerged of him showing young children how to give fascist salutes (Photo: Ethnos.gr)

Photographs showing a younger Christos Pappas giving a Nazi salute against a Nazi flag backdop surfaced last October. Now a video has emerged of him showing young children how to give fascist salutes (Photo: Ethnos.gr)

The deputy leader of neonazi Golden Dawn instructed young children on how to chant “Heil Hitler” and give the Nazi salute, according to a video recording made public by a leading Sunday newspaper.

In the video clip, published by Kathimerini, Christos Pappas can be heard encouraging a young boy, dressed in a traditional Greek costume and wearing a swastika armband, to say “Heil Hitler” while holding a small Nazi flag.

When the boy does as he is told, Pappas praises him by saying: “Well done, my brave man. Well done, my boy!”

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Samaras’ righthand man used SMS to tell Golden Dawn MPs how to vote

In General on 19 September 2014 at 10:15 am
Golden Dawn MP Ilias Kasidiaris (L) and former cabinet secretary and close Samaras aide Takis Baltakos (Photo: Star.gr)

Golden Dawn MP Ilias Kasidiaris (L) and former cabinet secretary and close Samaras aide Takis Baltakos (Photo: Star.gr)

Takis Baltakos, former cabinet secretary and right-hand man of Prime Minister Antonis Samaras, maintained direct lines of communication with Golden Dawn, even to the point of instructing the neonazi party on how to vote in parliament and congratulating its MPs for their rowdy behaviour, a daily newspaper has revealed.

Baltakos was forced to resign in April after a video surfaced showing him engaged in what appeared to be a friendly conversation, in his parliamentary office, with leading Golden Dawn MP Ilias Kasidiaris.

While Baltakos admitted to having “coincidental meetings” with Golden Dawn figures, a series of reports published in the Efimerida ton Syntakton (Efsyn) daily on Thursday and Friday show this interaction was “not limited to social contact and gossip”, according to Efsyn journalist Dimitris Psarras, who has authored a number of books on Golden Dawn.

He said Baltakos sent messages, via a conduit, to Kasidiaris advising him on how Golden Dawn MPs should vote on issues which were dividing the then three-way coalition between New Democracy, Pasok and Democratic Left.

Baltakos relayed his messages via Theodoros Zoubos, a research assistant in Kasidiaris’ parliamentary office. One message, sent by Zoubos to Kasidiaris on 5 February 2013, read: “Takis Michalolias and Takis Baltakos have just been to the office.”

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Man accused of attempted murder was member of Golden Dawn’s central committee

In General on 3 September 2014 at 9:44 am

GoldenDawnTshirt

A man accused of attempted murder following an attack on an alternative hangout in Athens in June 2008 was a member of Golden Dawn’s central committee at the time of the incident, it has emerged.

Since the attack on the Antipnoia anarchist space in Kato Petralona, in which a Greek and a Spanish national were stabbed, the accused, Vasilis Siatounis and Athanasios Stratos, claimed they were not members of the party.

But according to a list of Golden Dawn central committee members from 2008 that was published in the Efimerida ton Syntakton newspaper, Siatounis was a member of the party’s highest council when the attack occurred.

He was also a candidate for the party in the 2010 Athens municipal elections and was subsequently appointed an advisor to Nikos Michaloliakos, Golden Dawn’s leader, who became a councillor in that election.

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New Democracy businessman bankrolled neonazi Golden Dawn branch, defector claims

In General on 14 August 2014 at 10:55 pm
The report's cover

The report’s cover

A provincial branch of the neonazi Golden Dawn party was bankrolled by a wealthy businessman who was a member of New Democracy and it enjoyed immunity from the police, a Golden Dawn defector has told a leading US human rights organisation.

The unidentified man told Human Rights First that the businessman gave financial backing to Golden Dawn because he wanted it to do well in the 2012 elections so that New Democracy could end its uneasy coalition with socialist Pasok and team up with Golden Dawn instead.

“Golden Dawn is the militia arm of New Democracy,” the businessman told the defector, who will be a witness in the forthcoming criminal case against leading Golden Dawn figures, which is due to start in November. He said the businessman also spent more than $1,500 (€1,100) on military outfits for its cadres. The businessman also paid for their offices and gave them advice, including “Don’t go and attack migrants in the middle of the day.”

The defector also told Human Rights First that his Golden Dawn unit enjoyed immunity from the police.

“The police had specific orders not to touch us,” he said, adding that when four Golden Dawn members attacked two Pakistani migrants and beat them “really, really badly”, he received a phone call from the local police chief who had ties to the local Golden Dawn boss and told him the case would not be investigated.

“Once they realised they could operate with impunity, they turned to intimidation for profit, evicting recalcitrant tenants and collecting debts,” the report continues.

The man said that his Golden Dawn branch had over 2,000 members and was located in an area with a 50% unemployment rate.

His testimony is included in a major report (pdf), published on August 14 by Human Rights First, that details the rise and the threat posed by the “hate parties” of Golden Dawn in Greece and Jobbik in Hungary.

“Golden Dawn is no ordinary ultra-nationalist party. No other extreme right party in Europe is as stridently racist, nativist and violent, none is so unapologetically antisemitic, and none so openly calls for the overthrow of the state,” states the report, entitled We’re not Nazis, but… and authored by Sonni Efron and Tad Stahnke.

Despite threats against him, the defector intends to testify that Golden Dawn was a “criminal organization,” as the government charges. But he added that the government allowed Golden Dawn to grow for its own gain, and only decided to take legal action only when the organisation became too powerful.

“‘Criminal organization’ is correct and precise, because Golden Dawn was organizing an army. One of the basic prerequisites to go up in the hierarchy was to go to special training camps,” he is quoted in the report, which is also critical of New Democracy’s “inflammatory rhetoric” in the run-up to the 2012 elections.

It said New Democracy leader “Antonis Samaras jumped on Golden Dawn’s antimigrant bandwagon, proclaiming, ‘Our cities have been taken over by illegal immigrants, we have to reclaim them.’

“With such inflammatory rhetoric, the New Democracy party failed to demonstrate to citizens that the uncontrolled migration and the conditions in which migrants lived would be addressed properly, that there was no need to resort to violence, or that vigilantes would be punished.”

In addition to underscoring the need “for a credible prosecution of Golden Dawn that meets the highest European judicial standards and is not tainted by claims of political motivation”, the report also calls on the government to “adopt a zero-tolerance policy toward and strongly condemn racist, antisemitic, or homophobic statements by public officials and members of the New Democracy party”. Other parties should also be encouraged to follow suit.