Public Order Minister Nikos Dendias on Saturday ordered authorities to file charges against supporters of neofacist Chrysi Avgi (Golden Dawn) as well as two of the party’s deputies, Giorgos Germenis and Panayiotis Iliopoulos, following an attack on immigrants’ stalls at a church fate in Rafina, northeast of Athens, on Friday night.
The action could lead to the MPs having their parliamentary immunity lifted.
Footage posted on the party’s official website from the day shows about 40 Golden Dawn supporters, clad in black t-shirts and with many carrying Greek flags, requesting that migrant vendors outside the Panaghia Pantovasilissa Church show them their residence permits.
In the same footage a group of people is seen violently pulling apart one of the stalls and smashing the merchandise.
The two deputies, who joined the procession of the icon, suggested in the video that they felt it was their duty to step in where the police had failed to do so by rooting out illegal vendors.
According to ministry sources, the deputies could be charged with usurping authority and damaging property.
Meanwhile, the party vowed to continue raids targeting migrant street traders without permits. A statement posted on the Golden Dawn website said raids would continue across the country, until authorities “decide to do their job and stop encouraging illegality.”
Different footage posted on the website showed a so-called Golden Dawn “unit,” led by MP Costas Barbarousis, carrying out a similar raid in Messolonghi, western Greece, destroying three market stalls.
“We are fighting illegal commerce,” Barbarousis said, criticizing police for failing to carry out inspections. “These efforts will continue, because we cannot treat those who pay [for a license] as idiots, while others get away without paying.”
A VPRC survey published last week showed the party, which won 18 seats in Parliament in the June 17 elections with 6.97 percent of the vote, polling at 12 percent.