Golden Dawn raids fail to unite parties

Parliament’s ethics committee on Thursday condemned acts of violence committed recently by deputies and supporters of Greece’s neofascist Golden Dawn party.

The committee, which met in response to last week’s violent raids on immigrant vendors in Rafina, northeast of Athens, and Mesolongi, western Greece, criticized the party’s leadership and called for swift government action to prevent further attacks.

The committee’s text was voted for by deputies from New Democracy, PASOK and the Independent Greeks party. Lawmakers from the hard-left SYRIZA party, Democratic Left and the Communist Party (KKE) all cast an empty ballot complaining that the committee’s phraseology and recommendations were too “mild.”

Golden Dawn, which snubbed the session, rebuffed the initiative altogether.

“This despicable political system does not have the moral right to give us lessons on ethics and correct behavior,” the party, which controls 18 seats in Parliament, said in a statement.

Meanwhile, the Supreme Court Thursday forwarded to Parliament the case file drawn up by prosecutors in Mesolongi following attacks by Golden Dawn extremists on street vendors.

An appeal has been made for the parliamentary immunity to be lifted from Golden Dawn MP Constantinos Barbarousis who led the crowd of party members and supporters in a raid on an open-air market. Barbarousis is to face charges of usurping authority, by demanding that vendors display their police IDs, and damaging private property, as members of the group trashed the immigrants’ stalls. Prosecutors are looking into a similar raid in Rafina.

Meanwhile, tensions flared in the House as PASOK’s parliamentary spokesman Filippos Sachinidis blamed SYRIZA’s politics for the surge of far-right activism in the country.

“The blanket rejection of the political system strengthened a far right of the wildest Nazi type,” the former finance minister said. “All these people who used to gather on Syntagma Square next to Golden Dawn supporters only managed to drive them into [the House],” he said, prompting a loud reaction by left-wing MPs.


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