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Clashes Follow Street Murder in Greece

Clashes Follow Street Murder in Greece
Greek riot police battled into the night of Sept. 18 with protesters angry over the murder earlier in the day of an anti-fascist who was stabbed to death, police said, by a man who is a member of the neo-Nazi Golden Dawn party that has been running amok for more than a year, reportedly assaulting immigrants and Communists.
The killing of Pavlos Fyssas, a 34-year-old hip-hop artist, set off a storm of fury across the country with police in at least five cities clashing with protesters. In Athens, police fired tear gas at groups of protesters in Athens and street fights erupted in the northern city of Thessaloniki and in Patras in the west of the country, where the city center remained sealed off.
Independent Greeks leader Panos Kammenos went to the scene and was set upon by a group of protesters who smashed his car and screamed at him, “Fascist, Bastard Politicians, A–holes,” among other epithets. Some in the crowd punched and kicked him, bloodying his nose as his bodyguards tried to protect him but were overwhelmed by the numbers.
Then another bodyguard appeared on a motorcycle and put Kammenos on and spirited him away while his other guards drove away in his car as demonstrators smashed the windows.
The violent attack and murder were discussed in Parliament, with the Minister of Justice Charalambos Athanasiou condemning the violence cultivated by Golden Dawn and that “with determination, the State will defend the rule of law and social peace”.
Greek President Karolos Papoulias, who was a resistance fighter against the Nazis in World War II, said, “It is our duty not to allow any space whatsoever to fascism – not even an inch.”
The Parliamentary representative of SYRIZA Dimitris Papadimoulis stated that the perpetrators must be arrested “and rot in jail”.
PASOK issued a statement denoting that “Golden Dawn must finally be treated like what it truly is: a criminal organization that threatens the lives of foreigners and Greek people.”
The Communist Party explained that Golden Dawn is “becoming bolder thanks to the multifaceted support from the rotten capitalist system and big interests” and called for a popular front against “the Nazi murderers”.
DIMAR claims among others that “last night’s lethal attack in Amfiali confirms the need for an ‘institutional asphyxiation’ of Golden Dawn and the uprooting of parastatal fascist mechanisms”.
ANEL called all Greeks “to form a patriotic, democratic front against the black alliance”.
Leftist party ANTARSYA issued a statement calling everyone to attend an anti-fascist rally at the scene of the crime in Keratsini and  “to besiege the fascists and the politics of murder”.
PASOK leader Evangelos Venizelos, Deputy Prime Minister/Foreign Minister in the coalition government headed by Prime Minister Antonis Samaras, the New Democracy Conservative leader, said, “Golden Dawn uses violence as its main tool and must be treated as a criminal organization. It has now gone beyond all limits. The state must intervene.
The Greek Constitution does not allow banning of a political party but Public Order Minister Nikos Dendias said the government could try to designate Golden Dawn as a criminal gang to find a way to control it. Samaras earlier this year, however,  scrapped a bill that would have increased the penalties for hate crimes, legislation aimed at Golden Dawn.
As violence erupted on the streets and demonstrators protested, Dendias canceled a trip abroad saying the government would table emergency legislation that would seek to outlaw the group.
Amid renewed political tensions between the extreme left and right, the new law would re-evaluate what constituted a criminal gang, he said.
“Neither the state will tolerate, nor society accept, acts and practices that undermine the legal system,” the minister told reporters, adding that the attack showed “in the clearest way the [party’s] intentions”.

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