Greece Braces for Historic Verdict on Neo-Nazi Golden Dawn



Golden Dawn supporters rally in 2015. Credit: DTRocks/Wikimedia commons

The verdict in the trial of the Neo-Nazi party Golden Dawn is due to be announced by an Athens Criminal Appeals Court on Wednesday, October 7 at 11:00.

With its ruling, the court is called on to decide whether the accused are guilty or not guilty of forming a criminal organization, in a trial that was unprecedented on a global scale in recent history.

Based on the charges, Golden Dawn was a criminal organization that had the legal form of a party and enjoyed enhanced constitutional protection as a result.

In an interview published Saturday concerning the upcoming verdict, Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis hailed his own party’s role in taking down Golden Dawn and bringing its leader to trial for the murder of Pavlos Fyssas.

“Our country’s experience from the disastrous passage of the nazi formation of Golden Dawn was traumatic, painful, and unfortunately, very bloody… I feel satisfaction that the arguments of democracy banished it from parliament and the rule of law from our daily lives,” he said to the newspaper “Efimerida ton Syntakton”.

Noting that Greece had suffered from Nazism, Mitsotakis noted that “there is no room in our country for its supporters and imitators. Bigoted nationalism we counter with genuine patriotism, totalitarianism with pluralism, conflict with dialogue, division with unity, and extremism with reason.”

Only a guilty verdict for Golden Dawn on October 7 will serve as a vindication, main opposition SYRIZA-Progressive Alliance leader Alexis Tsipras said in an interview with the same newspaper.

He stressed that “the nazi criminals that for years plunged our neighborhoods in terror and blood” must end up behind bars.

“Golden Dawn are no longer in parliament and after the conclusion of the trial, the members of this criminal gang must go to prison,” he said, noting that the end of the trial was a historic moment for Greek democracy.

The main opposition leader referred to the debt owed to those who daily fought the battle for justice and to “reveal the monster”, including the mother of the slain rapper Pavlos Fyssas, Magda Fyssa.

“The fight, however, does not end here. Hatred, xenophobia, racism, and violence toward the weak are constant and real dangers for Greek society. Unfortunately, when the official policy of the state flirts openly with such beliefs or, even worse, adopts them, then democracy is in danger,” he added.