Golden Dawn, the aggressive Greek right-wing party making headlines in the crisis-hit country after the murder of an anti-fascist musician, has gone from provocation to provocation in its short career in Greece’s parliament.
The party’s 18 lawmakers have been accused of using their parliamentary immunity to intimidate police and evade arrest, meaning that there are only a few cases of solid prosecution against them.
Until the murder of hip hop artist Pavlos Fyssas on Wednesday, police had failed to pursue most other cases of brazen aggression by suspected Golden Dawn members against migrants or political rivals.
– June 7, 2012: Golden Dawn party spokesman Ilias Kasidiaris, a former commando, strikes female Communist MP Liana Kanelli during a heated talk show debate. He escapes arrest by temporarily going into hiding. Parliament later lifts his immunity so Kasidiaris can face trial.
– June 12, 2012: Four Egyptian fishermen are attacked in their sleep in the working-class district of Perama by a gang of black-clad attackers. One victim is hospitalised with serious head injuries.
Six people arrested at the time denied involvement and were released. According to media reports, at least one of the assailants would take part in another beating of Communist party members in Perama a year later.
– September 7, 2012: Golden Dawn lawmakers George Germenis and Panagiotis Iliopoulos lead a black-clad detachment of party members to an open-air fair near Athens, where they proceed to smash the stalls of unlicensed migrant peddlers.
Another GD team headed by lawmaker Costas Barbaroussis carries out a similar operation in the western town of Messolonghi the following day.
Parliament has agreed to lift the immunity of all three MPs so they can be prosecuted.
– January 17, 2013: A Pakistani migrant is fatally stabbed in central Athens by two Greeks, one of them a fireman. Police later find Golden Dawn tracts at the one of the attackers’ homes.
– May 2, 2013: Athens Mayor George Kaminis bans a Golden Dawn food handout exclusively catering to Greeks as racist. Hours later, GD lawmaker George Germenis is detained after apparently trying to punch the mayor, and hitting a 12-year-old girl instead. Germenis’ immunity has again been lifted over the assault and he will be tried.
– September 12, 2013: Communists putting up posters in the working-class district of Perama are attacked by a large group of alleged Golden Dawn members bearing nail-studded clubs. Eight Communists are hospitalised but the attackers escape.
– September 18, 2013: Anti-fascist singer Pavlos Fyssas is fatally stabbed after an apparent ambush by suspected Golden Dawn members. The killer, George Roupakias, is immediately arrested and later confesses to police his Golden Dawn affiliation.
Golden Dawn continues to deny involvement and accuses its critics of slander, but pictures soon appear in the press, showing Roupakias participating in party events, wearing GD insignia. – AFP