THE leader and four parliamentary deputies of the fascist Golden Dawn party, along with 13 party cadres and two policemen, were arrested on Saturday morning by Greek anti-terror squads and charged with ‘forming a criminal organisation’ which carried out manslaughter, extortion and money laundering, according to the High Court’s Public Prosecutor.
Greek police have issued warrants for another Golden Dawn parliamentary deputy and 19 party members.
The leader of Golden Dawn, Nikos Mikhaloliakos, is accused of being the leader of the ‘criminal organisation’.
In 1977 Mikhaloliakos served a prison sentence following his conviction of being a member of a fascist gang that planted bombs against the then right-wing government.
On Saturday about 300 stunned Golden Dawn supporters gathered outside the Athens Police HQ, without banners or flags, and shouted some anti-government slogans.
According to Law and Order Minister Nikos Dendias the charges against Golden Dawn leaders and members are based on 32 incident files that he sent to the Public Prosecutor’s office.
At a press conference on Saturday Nikos Dendias said that ‘full investigations would be carried out. There is no place in Greece for criminal organisations clad with a political cloak.’
Dendias said that he had proclaimed in the Vouli (Greek parliament) that ‘Storm Troopers won’t be tolerated; Golden Dawn attempted to test the endurance of democracy, now they are receiving the answer of a lawful state.’
The Golden Dawn leaders and members are being accused of the murder of Pakistani worker Sahtjat Lukman last January and the murder of Greek rapper Pavlos Fyssas ten days ago; they are also accused of the attempted murder of two immigrant workers and for dozens of beatings.
The Greek government have announced that they will introduce legislation which would suspend state funding to political parties whose leaders or parliamentary deputies have had criminal charges brought against them.
The leader of the Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA), Alexis Tsipras, demanded an immediate general election; but his call was rejected by the Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras who flew to New York to meet up with the IMF.
Tsipras has also demanded a full investigation into the involvement of Greek army and police officers in supporting Golden Dawn and training the fascists in combat methods in special secret camps.
Tsipras also demanded an explanation from the government as to why the crackdown on Golden Dawn has come now, despite fascists attacks and killings being reported by the press in the last few years.
In the general election of June 2012 results showed that over 50 per cent of police and prison guards had voted for Golden Dawn.
Last week the Greek government dismissed a number of top police officials and the head of the section of the Greek Information Agency (the Greek secret service) which monitors Golden Dawn activities.
The crackdown by the Greek government on the fascist party – that got seven per cent of the vote in last year’s general election – has to be seen in the context of the deepening of the economic and political crisis of the unstable Greek coalition government as the world economic slump deepens.
The revolutionary resistance of the Greek workers and youth to the government was made clear once again in last week’s eight-day state secondary teachers’ national strike, the huge strike rallies of civil servants and the mass anti-fascist demonstrations that marched to close down the Golden Dawn HQs – only to be prevented by vicious police violence and tear-gas.
The representatives of the EC-IMF-ECB troika, meeting in Athens all last week, demanded immediate privatisations of the major Greek heavy industries and railways, mass sackings in the private sector, and legislation to make it difficult to call strikes.
Greek Statistics Authority (ELSTAT) figures stated that the current unemployment rate is over 28 per cent and youth unemployment stands at nearly 60 per cent.
For the sixth year running the Greek economy is in depression, this year reaching four per cent of the GNP.
It is clear that the European Commission’s and the IMF’s strategy in Greece is to destroy its industrial base and annihilate the public sector (public education, health and social services).
To achieve this, the fascists of the Golden Dawn were employed in recent years – in tandem with the riot police – to beat and split the workers’ and youth movements which are demanding the overthrow of the government and of the barbaric austerity Accords imposed by the troika.
The fascists were supported and actively assisted by the state, the government and the capitalist media.
Only two weeks ago, government-supporting parliamentary deputies from the right-wing New Democracy stated in the Vouli that a new coalition government between New Democracy and the ‘good’ section of Golden Dawn was a possibility. The right-wing media supported such a call.
Golden Dawn grew in confidence and even challenged the ruling right-wing New Democracy party to the leadership of the ‘patriotic anti-communist’ sections.
The killing of left-wing rapper Pavlos Fyssas, which took place in the middle of the teachers’ national strike, occurred following repeated violent attacks by Golden Dawn on immigrants and a clash with New Democracy supporters at an anti-communist celebration.
The working class responded with mass actions to drive the fascists off the streets and destroy their movement.
The precarious stability and the very existence of the coalition government had begun to be threatened by Golden Dawn’s actions, which had intensified the mass resistance of workers and youth in Greece.
At the mass workers’ demonstrations, the Greek coalition government was branded as a parliamentary junta which is following the diktats of the EC-IMF-ECB troika to the letter.
The fascist leaders, with their big following in the police and state forces, are being jailed in order to preserve them in a situation where the working class is determined to get at them and destroy them.
They are being looked after by the state, so that they will be available for action when the bourgeoisie really needs them.
Just as quickly as they were rounded up they will be released – when the bourgeoisie needs to use them against the working class and the youth.
The capitalist state cannot fight the fascism that it spawns and arms and trains for use against the working class.
The Revolutionary Marxist League (RML), the Greek section of the Fourth International, has called for the closing down of Golden Dawn offices by workers’ militias who will drive the fascists off the streets.
The League says that to smash fascism the working class must be mobilised to overthrow the ruling class government, beginning with an indefinite general strike that develops into a socialist revolution.
This will go forward to a workers and small farmers’ government that completely smashes the capitalist state, with the working class ruling through soviets, and a militia that will comprise the entire able-bodied working class and rural poor population.
This is the way to beat the bosses and their fascist bully-boys.