After jubilation with the release of three of its Members of Parliament from pre-trial detention, the followers of Golden Dawn felt disappointment when the neo-Nazi party’s leader, Nikolaos Michaloliakos, and number two man, Christos Pappas, were sent to jail, facing charges of murder, extortion and money laundering.
Party leaders had called for an outpouring of support but only a smidgeon of backers showed up at the court as backing for the extremists fell 2.5 percent in the aftermath of the killing of a 34-year-old hip-hop artist for which a man police said was a party member was arrested.
Even when party spokesman, Ilias Kasidiaris, along with two other Members of Parliament, Panagiotis Iliopoulos and Nikos Mihos showed up to support their leaders at the court, only about 40 Golden Dawners were there with them.
The chanting supporters tried to make their presence felt when Pappas arrived but it was a feeble showing. Party leaders insist the roundup of 32 people, including six of its MP’s, two police officers and 24 others won’t hurt its support from the public although polls show otherwise.