After the largest trial against a fascist group since Nuremberg, an Athens court convicted members of the far-right neo-Nazi political party Golden Dawn of operating a criminal organization in a historic decision on Wednesday.
Additionally, 14 members of the fascist party were found guilty in connection with the fatal stabbing of leftist and anti-fascist rapper Pavlos Fyssas, or “Killah P,” in 2013.
Party members were also convicted for a brutal attack on two Egyptian fishermen in 2012.
During its peak after the 2015 elections, Golden Dawn was the third largest party in Parliament. In 2019, after having a presence in Parliament for seven years, the party lost all of their seats.
Many political figures in Greece have released statements praising the court’s monumental decision to formally label the party a criminal organization.
President of the Hellenic Republic Katerina Sakellaropoulou, in a statement stressed that this was an important day for Democracy.
“In our country’s long democratic tradition, phenomena of extreme political violence were always foreign. Today’s decision is a confirmation that democracy and its institutions always have the capability to foil any attempt to undermine them.”
It is an important day for democracy. Εxtreme political violence is alien to our long democratic tradition. The conviction of Golden Dawn confirms our institutions’ strength against any attempt to undermine them.
— President GR (@PresidencyGR) October 7, 2020
The Greek Prime Minister expressed the feelings of many Greeks when he proclaimed that “democracy won today” after the verdict on Wednesday, and that “It is up to us that it wins every day.”
Referring to Golden Dawn’s loss of seats in 2019, Mitsotakis stressed the role of elections in the downfall of the party, stating: “Today’s decision of the three-member criminal court of appeals for Golden Dawn’s action closes a traumatic cycle of the country’s public life.”
“Its political dimension has, fortunately, been judged by the victory of democracy, which expelled the Nazi formation from Parliament. Now, independent justice is giving its own answer,” the Greek Prime Minister noted.
He stressed, however, that although the decision was a large step toward fighting fascism and xenophobia, “the trial of racism, intolerance and violence in society remains ongoing.”
Alexis Tsipras, the former Prime Minister of Greece and head of left-wing party SYRIZA, praised the court’s decision while speaking to the press, saying “Today is a historic day for our country, a day of victory for the rule of law, a day of victory for justice and finally for Democracy itself.”
As thousands of Greeks ignored rules against large public gatherings and demonstrated outside of the courtroom, celebrating the ruling against Golden Dawn, Tsipras stressed that “it is everyone’s responsibility not to allow Nazism to contaminate society and the political system ever
Tsipras also said that we should be grateful to those people that did not give up and had fought to bring things to this outcome: “To the witnesses for the prosecution, the lawyers and every citizen that marched with the anti-fascist movement. Our greatest thanks, however, we owe to Magda Fyssa, for her insistent and lonely struggle for the last seven years. For her son Pavlos, and for our children, so they can live in this country without the violence and the poison of fascism.”
The moment thousands break out in cheers as a Greek Court in Athens rules that the Golden Dawn Neo-Nazi party is guilty of operating as a criminal organization and finds its leader, Nikolaos Mihaloliakos (among many others), guilty of forming and leading the criminal organization. Full story: https://bit.ly/3d6M2Yd
Posted by Greek Reporter on Wednesday, October 7, 2020