6th Jul 2022

Golden Dawn threatens to destabilise Greek government

  • Discarded Golden Dawn fliers: public support has plunged after the killing (Photo: Anonymous_Shadow)

Greece’s neo-fascist Golden Dawn threatens to spark snap elections by pulling all 18 of its members from the 300-seat parliament.

If Golden Dawn members walk out, then special elections would have to take place in every district they represent in order to replace them.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Become an expert on Europe

Get instant access to all articles — and 20 years of archives. 14-day free trial.

... or subscribe as a group

Golden Dawn leader Nikolaos Mihaloliakos on Thursday (26 September) said some polls indicate the opposition would win, which could undermine the ruling coalition, reports Reuters.

"Golden Dawn holds a weapon in its hands to cause a political earthquake. Those in charge should bear that well in mind," he said.

He said no final decision has been made yet to quit the assembly.

Interior Minister Yannis Mihelakis told Skai TV on Thursday that the snap elections would antagonise an already fragile government.

"The whole affair has already damaged the country enough. A general election would just make things worse," he said, referring to the recent murder of a left-wing rapper by a man with alleged Golden Dawn links.

Other leaders dismissed the threat and welcomed the group to leave the parliament.

"It's not a threat. It's a great opportunity," deputy prime minister Evangelos Venizelos told Reuters on Wednesday.

A poll by Rass for the Eleftheros Typos newspaper earlier this week found that support for the neo-fascist group plummeted by 2.5 percentage points to 5.8 percent following the fatal stabbing of Pavlos Fyssas.

Fyssas’ murder sparked protests against the group, when a self-proclaimed Golden Dawn member admitted to plunging a knife into the 34-year-old’s chest.

The party had seen a rise in popularity over the past year but has been accused by human rights groups of committing violent acts against immigrants and Greeks who oppose it.

Golden Dawn members, in some cases, posted YouTube videos of themselves destroying market stands run by immigrants.

Some 10,000 took to the streets in Athens last week in an anti-fascist demonstration organised by unions and activists.

Meanwhile, police made a handful of arrests of Golden Dawn members found illegally carrying or owning firearms. Officers also raided three police stations on Tuesday but only after the government replaced seven senior police officials to ensure “absolute objectivity”.

The government wants to dissolve the group.

But instead of an outright ban, senior officials have opted to find evidence that would label the party as a criminal organisation in a wider effort to undermine it.

A senior court official told reporters on Wednesday that Greek prosecutors investigating the group have already found evidence linking it to criminal activities.

Authorities are also investigating a statement posted overnight on Wednesday on the website of the Hellenic Special Forces Reserve Union.

The statement, allegedly posted by the special forces reservists, calls for the people to unite with the army to overthrow the governing coalition.

It said Greece should withdraw from its bailout obligations and that special courts should be set up to prosecute people responsible for Greece’s financial crisis.

Golden Dawn leadership arrested

Greek police arrested the leader and four senior members of the neo-nazi Golden Dawn party over the weekend in a wider effort to ban the group.


Romania — latest EU hotspot in backlash against LGBT rights

Romania isn't the only country portraying lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people as a threat to children. From Poland and Hungary in EU, to reactionary movements around the world are prohibiting portrayals of LGBT people and families in schools.

News in Brief

  1. Turkey signs Nato protocol despite Sweden extradition row
  2. European gas production hit by Norway strike
  3. EU Commission told to step up fight against CAP fraud
  4. Ukraine needs €719bn to rebuild, says PM
  5. Germany records first monthly trade deficit since 1991
  6. Pilots from Denmark, Norway, and Sweden strike
  7. Report: EU to sign hydrogen deal with Namibia
  8. Israel and Poland to mend relations

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic and Canadian ministers join forces to combat harmful content online
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic ministers write to EU about new food labelling
  3. Nordic Council of MinistersEmerging journalists from the Nordics and Canada report the facts of the climate crisis
  4. Council of the EUEU: new rules on corporate sustainability reporting
  5. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic ministers for culture: Protect Ukraine’s cultural heritage!
  6. Reuters InstituteDigital News Report 2022

Latest News

  1. 'World is watching', as MEPs vote on green finance rules
  2. Turkey sends mixed signals on Sweden's entry into Nato
  3. EU Parliament sued over secrecy on Nazi MEP expenses
  4. Italy glacier tragedy has 'everything to do' with climate change
  5. The Digital Services Act — a case-study in keeping public in dark
  6. Report slams German opposition to new child sexual abuse rules
  7. Is China a challenge to Nato? Beijing responds
  8. ECB announces major green shift in corporate bond-buying

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us