After Greece’s stalemated elections in May where he suffered an ignominious showing, New Democracy Capitalist leader Antonis Samaras made a hard turn to the right when he saw that the deranged neo-Nazis of Golden Dawn were usurping his conservative agenda with their vicious anti-immigrant, anti-Semitic, anti-gay, religious fundamentalist platform.
Suddenly, Samaras was further to the right than the John Birch Society and his party won a second round in June, but without enough of the vote to form a government, forcing him to bring on board his despised rival, PASOK Anti-Socialist leader Evangelos “Memory Stick” Venizelos and Uncle Fotis Kouvelis of the Democratic Left-Right, who joined him on the Right Wing bandwagon.
It’s a bit unseemly for a Prime Minister to go around on a motorcycle swinging a truncheon at immigrants or people who don’t look like one of the 300 Spartans, while he’s pushing Greece as far to the right as it’s been since the ruling military junta from 1967-74. So Samaras is letting Golden Dawn do the nasty work for him, although he took it upon himself to try to ban protests when German Chancellor Angela Merkel was in town, an unprecedented violation of rights that Greeks defied. He also had snipers on the rooftops and water cannons at the ready, the sure signs of a would-be paranoid dictator.
Golden Dawn has been pretty busy beating up immigrants, telling gay people to watch their backs and going after all the cursed blasphemers in Greece, those who aren’t purely Aryan, uh Greek, shutting down a play they believe mocked Jesus Christ and the Church, and are patrolling the city checking people’s ID’s and demanding they speak Greek.
If you visit Greece, learn a few key phrases or you’re going to get a club on the head from them, with the implicit support of Samaras because he has not condemned any of their violent actions or insane behavior, which puts him in the same camp with them. You have to remember he’s the guy who said he wanted to empty Greece of immigrants.
Samaras can try to say he’s been too busy negotiating more of the pay cuts, tax hikes and slashed pensions that he pretended to oppose before the elections – promptly reneging the moment he was sworn in. But he’s been letting Golden Dawn, which won 18 seats in the Parliament, carry his water on the streets while he’s hiding in the corridors of power and that lets him distance himself from their violence.
There’s a cost: Golden Dawn got only 0.29 percent of the vote in the 2009 elections that then PASOK leader George Papandreou won with 44 percent. But Black Dawn got 6.97 percent in June and polls now put them at 10-12 percent – ahead of the vanishing PASOKites. And they are picking up more votes with every immigrant beating and potato sack they hand out, so Samaras could find himself reaching out to Golden Dawn’s drooling leader, Nikolaos “Attila the Hun” Michaloliakos one of these days if the Prime Minister doesn’t act like a leader and stand up and condemn these dangerous troglodytes before it’s too late.
YOU CAN’T TOUCH US
Golden Dawn rightfully believes it has impunity. Its Members of Parliament do because, thanks to a law pushed by Venizelos, Greek lawmakers have immunity from crime, although some rival MP’s want to strip the Nazis of that protection. Because no one has done anything to stop them, Golden Dawn keeps busting heads, with the implicit support of the police, some 50 percent of whom voted for them and like having Right-Wing vigilantes help out.
Public Order Nikos Dendias Minister has to put deeds where he put his big mouth earlier when he vowed to go after the “storm troopers,” but has failed utterly to do so, hiding behind Samaras’ skirts while the Prime Minister shamelessly, by his failure to speak up has implicitly condoned and encouraged fascism instead of ordering Dendias to start firing police officers in league with the Nazis.
Not content with going after immigrants and gays, Golden Dawn pushed police to arrest a 27-year-old man for using his Facebook page to mock a long-dead monk, and prevented the showing of American playwright Terrence McNally’s Corpus Christi, a play depicting Jesus and his Disciples as a gay band living in Texas, a pretty risky premise as there’s a lot of people there who carry guns and don’t like people who walk in little short steps, even if it’s only to the right. Last June, the Holy Synod of the Greek Orthodox Church condemned the play as blasphemous and called on the faithful to reject it, although it should condemned the real blasphemy against humanity: violence by Golden Dawn.
Several Golden Dawn MP’s joined ultra-religious fanatics to beat up a journalist outside the theater while police looked on. One of the party’s MP’s, Christos Pappas, was seen on an Internet video going onto a police bus to remove one of several people arrested for brawling, and the police let him, so you know where their sympathies lie.
That was too much for a Greek prosecutor who brought charges against Pappas that won’t stick because of his immunity so he will be free to beat up some more immigrants or shut down other plays Golden Dawn doesn’t like, although it may be hard for them to decide because their idea of a cultural night out is to get together for some beers and watch Hitler’s speeches.
Another Golden Dawn MP, Ilias Panagiotaros, is alleged to have threatened the actors in the play, telling them, “Your time will come.” Party spokesman Ilias Kasidiaris, also an MP and who is facing assault charges in another case, declared that Golden Dawn would “intervene forcefully whenever the religious sensibilities and collective history of Greeks is insulted.”
This is where Samaras, who was educated at Amherst and should know better than to sit on his hands, to show whether he is a Man of the Right or The Right Man, and tell Golden Dawn to go to hell where it belongs.