[MGSA-L] New Democracy businessman bankrolled neonazi Golden Dawn

June Samaras june.samaras at gmail.com
Sun Aug 24 20:27:29 PDT 2014

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Damian Mac Con Uladh <damomac at gmail.com>

Date: Fri, 15 Aug 2014 04:12:11 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: New Democracy businessman bankrolled neonazi Golden Dawn branch,
defector claims
By Damian Mac Con Uladh


A provincial branch of the neonazi Golden Dawn party was bankrolled by a
wealthy businessman who was a member of New Democracy and it enjoyed
immunity from the police, a Golden Dawn defector has told a leading US
human rights organisation.

The unidentified man told Human Rights First that the businessman gave
financial backing to Golden Dawn because he wanted it to do well in the
2012 elections so that New Democracy could end its uneasy coalition with
socialist Pasok and team up with Golden Dawn instead.

“Golden Dawn is the militia arm of New Democracy,” the businessman told the
defector, who will be a witness in the forthcoming criminal case against
leading Golden Dawn figures, which is due to start in November. He said the
businessman also spent more than $1,500 (€1,100) on military outfits for
its cadres. The businessman also paid for their offices and gave them
advice, including “Don’t go and attack migrants in the middle of the day.”

The defector also told Human Rights First that his Golden Dawn unit enjoyed
immunity from the police.

“The police had specific orders not to touch us,” he said, adding that when
four Golden Dawn members attacked two Pakistani migrants and beat them
“really, really badly”, he received a phone call from the local police
chief who had ties to the local Golden Dawn boss and told him the case
would not be investigated.

“Once they realised they could operate with impunity, they turned to
intimidation for profit, evicting recalcitrant tenants and collecting
debts,” the report continues.

The man said that his Golden Dawn branch had over 2,000 members and was
located in an area with a 50% unemployment rate.

His testimony is included in a major report

published on August 14 by Human Rights First, that details the rise and the
threat posed by the “hate parties” of Golden Dawn in Greece and Jobbik in

“Golden Dawn is no ordinary ultra-nationalist party. No other extreme right
party in Europe is as stridently racist, nativist and violent, none is so
unapologetically antisemitic, and none so openly calls for the overthrow of
the state,” states the report, entitled We’re not Nazis, but… and authored
by Sonni Efron and Tad Stahnke.

Despite threats against him, the defector intends to testify that Golden
Dawn was a “criminal organization,” as the government charges. But he added
that the government allowed Golden Dawn to grow for its own gain, and only
decided to take legal action only when the organisation became too powerful.

“‘Criminal organization’ is correct and precise, because Golden Dawn was
organizing an army. One of the basic prerequisites to go up in the
hierarchy was to go to special training camps,” he is quoted in the report,
which is also critical of New Democracy’s “inflammatory rhetoric” in the
run-up to the 2012 elections.

It said New Democracy leader “Antonis Samaras jumped on Golden Dawn’s anti
immigrant bandwagon, proclaiming, ‘Our cities have been taken over by
illegal immigrants, we have to reclaim them.’

“With such inflammatory rhetoric, the New Democracy party failed to
demonstrate to citizens that the uncontrolled migration and the conditions
in which migrants lived would be addressed properly, that there was no need
to resort to violence, or that vigilantes would be punished.”

In addition to underscoring the need “for a credible prosecution of Golden
Dawn that meets the highest European judicial standards and is not tainted
by claims of political motivation”, the report also calls on the government
to “adopt a zero-tolerance policy toward and strongly condemn racist,
antisemitic, or homophobic statements by public officials and members of
the New Democracy party”. Other parties should also be encouraged to follow
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