FT: Greek Govt in ‘Chaos’ After Golden Dawn Video



samaras

The Greek coalition government has been “plunged into chaos”, reports Thursday’s Financial Times, by the release Wednesday of a video featuring Golden Dawn MP Ilias Kasidiaris having a politically embarrassing conversation with Takis Baltakos, who has duly resigned as the prime minister’s chief of staff.

The film was posted online, and shows Baltakos claiming Prime Minister Antonis Samaras had ordered the arrest of Golden Dawn MPs without enough evidence. Samaras denies any knowledge of the affair, according to the London newspaper, which predicts the scandal will most likely cost New Democracy votes at the forthcoming European elections.

The scandal prompted Pamos Kammenos, head of the right-wing opposition party Independent Greeks to demand that the coalition government step down, while junior coalition partner PASYK said connections with neo-Nazis should be punished.

The video was released by Golden Dawn shortly before parliament voted overwhelmingly to lift the immunity from prosecution afforded five of Golden Dawn lawmakers as MPs, among them Ilias Kasidiaris, a candidate for mayor of Athens. Kasidiaris claims that, if elected and imprisoned, he would perform mayoral duties even from his cell.

The BBC says the case is “at the very least an embarrassment” for the Greek government and further evidence that Greece’s judiciary is not independent, stressing that collapse of the indictment against Golden Dawn would deliver another major blow to the government.

German newspaper Die Zeit published an article entitled “Samaras seems to have affected the prosecution of Golden Dawn”, which says Greek ministers seem to have given instructions to the court to prosecute Golden Dawn for political reasons, and points out the slender majority by which the Greek government retains office.


2 COMMENTS

  1. In the video taped conversation Cabinet Secretary of parliament Panayiotis Baltakos accuses Justice Minister Charalambos Athanassiou, and Public Order Minister Nikos Dendias, of ordering the arrests of Golden Dawn lawmakers last October even though “THE INVESTIGATOR DIDN’T HAVE A SHRED OF EVIDENCE”.

    When asked in the video why the MPs had been detained, Baltakos makes a hand gesture of a phone call being made. When asked if Justice Minister Charalambos Athanassiou and Police Minister Nikos Dendias made the call, he replies: “Who else?”

    Panayiotis Baltakos also admitted that the prosecution against the neonazi party was politically motivated because New Democracy was losing votes to Golden Dawn allowing SYRIZA to take the lead.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vCOZ_Juuhmc

  2. All this has very little meaningful impact unless there is evidence that someone in the coalition government willfully and illegally arrested GD’s MPs without cause. Much of these revelations should have come out of the pre-trial hearings but surprisingly there is little information available. Samaras will attempt shore up the leaks by minimizing public contact other than the typical Pep-Rallies and glowing prognostications we have subjected to without FACT. The question is WHY are they emerging now.

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