What Can Be Learned From the Golden Dawn Arrests?
Greece's far right Golden Dawn party looks like a rather nasty piece of work. Supporters have been photographed in what appears to be Nazi-esque salutes; its party logo looks suspiciously like a swastika. The party has nonetheless skyrocketed to prominence in Greece in the aftermath of EU-imposed austerity programs, which have bailed out foreign speculators in Greek debt at the expense of the Greek economy.
The party, which was formed in the 1980s, came from electoral nowhere to win seven percent of the votes in the 2012 Greek elections. Its platform is clearly populist, anti-bailout, anti-immigration. Party workers have made inroads in Greek society distributing food and other assistance to a Greek population that has seen its formerly southern European standard of living descend to third world level existence with the smugly approving oversight of Brussels.
Two weeks ago, as Greece continues to implode, polls suggested that the party had more than doubled its support to 15%, which could well represent the difference between a minor party and a significant factor in Greek politics. An earthquake looked to strike the Greek political scene.
So the powers that be in Greece, backed no doubt by Brussels and Washington, had 22 party members arrested, including six Members of the Greek Parliament and the party leader Nikos Mihaloliakos. The party's offices were raided by the police throughout the country.
The party was charged with operating a criminal enterprise, including murder, assault, and money laundering. The precipitating event was the murder of leftish Greek hip-hop singer Pavlos Fyssas by suspected members of the Golden Dawn party. The murder was the pretext for the frontal assault on the party.
As unappealing as the Golden Dawn appears to us, it seems rather a stretch to arrest the leaders of a political party for the alleged actions of its alleged members. Do we ask the political party membership of murderers here in the US? Was Nidal Malik Hasan a Republican or Democrat? It smacks of desperation.
Indeed it appears the Greek elite and their counterparts in Brussels and elsewhere are beginning to notice that there are consequences to their utter destruction of Greece, its economy, and its society. The financial speculators who have been bailed out on the backs of the working classes in Greece suddenly see a history lesson called "Versailles."
Will arresting the people who have been distributing food to the starving in Greece reduce or inflame tensions in Greek society? Can outlawing a political party without addressing the roots of its extremist ideology produce desired results?
Ironically, the Golden Dawn party traces its ideological origins and even personal and political ties directly to the leaders of the Greek far-right junta that was spawned by CIA intervention and ruled the country as a kind of anti-communist US client state from 1967-1974.
Troubles ahead for Europe, migrating from south to north. Outlawing troubles will not make them disappear.
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