Four members of the neo-Nazi Golden Dawn party that is under siege by the government in the wake of the murder of an anti-fascist for which one of its members was arrested, showed up at the Supreme Court on Sept. 27 to file a suit against one of its bitter rivals, the PASOK Socialists for alleged financial wrongdoing.
PASOK is a junior partner in the coalition government led by Prime Minister Antonis Samaras, the New Democracy Conservative party leader.
Golden Dawn has criticized corruption in both the government parties who packed public payrolls for decades with hundreds of thousands of needless workers in return for votes, a major factor in the country’s crushing economic crisis. The complaint said PASOK had mismanaged its state financing from 2007-2010. PASOK is essentially broke despite getting huge loans from banks and free money from the taxpayers to operate.
“Good morning, we came to turn ourselves in,” party spokesman Ilias Kasidiaris, who faces criminal charges, joked to journalists gathered outside the court.
Kasidiaris, who is slated to run for Athens mayor next year, was reportedly accompanied by fellow MPs Giorgos Pappas, Eleni Zaroulia and Panayiotis Iliopoulos.
That sideshow came as Golden Dawn, under intense investigation, threatened to withdraw its 18 Members of Parliament, which sparked fears of a snap national elections. But Government spokesman Simos Kedikoglou ruled that out and said if Golden Dawn leaves the Parliament that by-elections would be held instead to find replacements for them without the need for national elections.
The neo-Nazi party’s leader Nikos Michaloliakos said that “all options are open” after a crackdown on Golden Dawn’s activities in the wake of rapper Pavlos Fyssas being killed.
“Democracy cannot be blackmailed,” Kedikoglou said. “Justice will complete the task it has undertaken … If we need to have by-elections, they will be held in the constituencies where MPs have to be replaced,” he added.
New Democracy Conservative MP Dora Bakoyannis attacked Golden Dawn for threatening to walk out. “Golden Dawn will have to understand that there are laws and democracy in this country. The realization will make them writhe in pain,” Bakoyannis told SKAI TV.
Speaking to reporters on Sept. 25, Michaloliakos said the party would exhaust all legal means “to defend our political honor.” Asked if a decision by his party to walk out of parliament would destabilize the country, he said: “Everything is open. Golden Dawn will defend itself.”
“Golden Dawn is a legal political movement, whose rise has displeased those who have squandered the sweat of the Greek people for decades,” Michaloliakos said. “Criminals and criminal gangs are those who bankrupted the country and handed over our national sovereignty,” he said.
Golden Dawn, which is anti-Semitic, anti-immigrant, anti-Capitalist, anti-American, anti-Israel, anti-gay, and anti-banks, is vehemently opposed to the $325 billion twin bailout package keeping the Greek economy alive because it came with conditions attached by international lenders of big pay cuts, tax hikes, slashed pensions and the firing of thousands of public workers.