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PASOK wants to unite the parties against Golden Dawn

21 February 2013 / 22:02:42  GRReporter
4383 reads

Anastasia Balezdrova

Golden Dawn was the biggest surprise of the early parliamentary elections in Greece in May last year. The decision of half a million Greeks to support the previously marginal group has opened the doors of parliament to 21 of its members. According to commentators, the most negative development is the fact that the party has established itself as the third political force and nobody can predict what this could mean for the next parliament.

At the same time, its members continue to carry out attacks against immigrants with the participation of deputies in the majority of cases. They do not hesitate to use abusive definitions for them in the plenary hall, like the deputy and wife of party leader Nikos Mihaloliakos, Eleni Zaroulia, for example, who described the immigrants with the Nazi term "subhumans".

The threat of the spread of racism and fascism in Greek society is one of the most discussed topics in the public domain. The conference entitled "Greece against neo-Nazism, racial, social and political violence" organized today by the Scientific Institute of PASOK "Andreas Papandreou" discussed the ways in which society can reject this threat.

In his introductory speech, the Secretary of the PASOK parliamentary group Yiannis Maniatis said that a process establishing Nazism was ongoing in Greece and it had nothing to do with the economic crisis, despite the widespread rhetoric to the contrary.

"In Portugal, there is a crisis and a memorandum too but there is no fascism. In Finland, there is no crisis, but there are signs of fascism," added the vice-president of ISTAME Christos Dervenis and stressed that the reason for the strengthening of the far-right and far-left violence was the election collapse of the political centre.

An honorary guest of the conference was one of the survivors of the attack on members of the youth organization of the Norwegian workers’ party Eskil Pedersen. He told how the authorities in the Nordic country had responded to the attack after Anders Breivik had shot 69 young people on the island of Utoya.

"It is up to the societies to condemn violence. We should all stand behind that position, regardless of our political ideas," said Pedersen. "All Norwegians went out into the streets with the message "No to the hatred between us".

He added that the loss of public confidence in the state was what "fed" the Nazi and fascist formations. "Transparency is necessary as well as to eliminate corruption. We will never be completely protected from the danger of the return of Nazism and only with more democracy, we will be able to deal with the acts of political extremes".

The chairman of the National Commission on Human Rights Kostis Papaioannou said that one of the major shortcomings in Greece was the non-existence of an authority to register the cases of racist violence. He defined justice and the police as the "weak links" in the fight against it and said that the police often allowed and even supported the attacks against immigrants.

He criticized the Greek politicians who provoked the expression of racism with their political speeches and actions: the actions of Michalis Chrysohoidis in connection with the case of HIV positive prostitutes and the recent statements by Andreas Loverdos, who had recently said that Golden Dawn was an expression of popular discontent.

Kostis Papaioannou opposed putting the left and right violence on the same footing and said that the idea of ​​creating a front of parties from the so-called constitutional arch was insufficient. "It can be triggered if these parties do one thing at least, namely to force the deputies of Golden Dawn to bring weapons in parliament. It is an open secret but so far, the political system has failed to force the chairman of parliament to take the relevant actions in this regard".

The chief secretary of the Ministry of Interior Yiannis Ioannidis presented the proposals of PASOK for dealing with the threat of establishing fascism in Greek society. "The most important thing is not to let Golden Dawn be perceived as a normal parliamentary power. It is not possible to accept as normal the parliamentary questions posed by them like the one regarding the number of children of immigrants who attend public kindergartens since the answer puts their security at risk".

In his opinion, the withdrawal of parliamentary immunity, which has been already imposed on four criminals, is the correct measure as long as it applies to all deputies and is not directed against only one party. Another suggestion of the socialists is that the Greek parliament should not allow Golden Dawn to be a determining factor in the adoption of decisions in parliament. He said that a change in both the constitution and the rules of parliament is necessary in order to ban the party.

Christos Katsoulis from the Greek branch of the German Friedrich Ebert-Stiftung Foundation presented the German experience. "We should be aware that the extreme right wings cooperate internationally. So, I believe that the parties that belong to the "constitutional arch" in different countries should also cooperate".

He pointed out that in Germany, "the first thing ​​these parties did was to marginalize the far right parties. They did not give them the right to a casting vote and they did not even talk to them in some cases. Many parties and organizations were banned because the law gives this right."

As he said, the organization informs the public about the dangers of the return of Nazi ideology through discussions, seminars and publications. "We attach great importance to the work with students, teachers, journalists and trade unions. We will meet with policemen soon".

Tags: PoliticsPASOKConstitutional archNazismFascismGolden dawn
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