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Golden Dawn, an extreme right-wing party operating in Greece, faces possible eradication after some of its high-ranking members were connected to the murder of a young hip-hop activist.
Just three works prior, Golden Dawn was Greece’s third most popular party, holding 18 seats in Parliament and receiving over one million dollars in government funding.
But after the fatal stabbing of Pavlos Fyssas, whose music advocated acceptance and non-violence, Golden Dawn is experiencing backlash from those calling the party neo-Nazis and fascists. Already twenty-two members of the party, six of which currently hold seats in Parliament, have been arrested on charges of murder, assault, and belonging to a criminal organization.
Golden Dawn denies neo-Nazi accusations but since acquiring seats in Parliament, the party has been accused of a number of violent attacks on dark-skinned immigrants, homosexuals, and left-wing activists.
Prime Minister Antonis Samaras announced, “We are dedicated in completely eradicating such a shame [...] We must do it within the context of our democratic constitution. But we have to go all the way and do whatever it takes. There is no room for the neo-Nazis in the democratic world,” quotes USA Today.
Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister, Evangelos Venizelos, is currently working on plans to pass legislation to suspend funding during a trial.
He said, “Democracy cannot fund its rivals [...] When you have a criminal organization which is operating inside a political party, there must be sanctions regarding funding.”
BBC News reports that Golden Dawn was able to operate for so long because of its standing with the Greek police. Figures from last year’s elections indicate that almost half of their police force voted for Golden Dawn.
But the Minister for Public Order, Nikos Dendias, rejects accusations of turning a blind eye to Golden Dawn’s previous malfeasances; “to claim that a criminal organisation was created, you have to have very clear evidence. When that came, we acted. And we took a huge political risk.”