The killing of Pavlos Fyssas, an anti-fascist rapper, on Sept. 18 is a warning sign of how far things have gone downhill in Greece. Fyssas was allegedly murdered by a member of the Golden Dawn, the first European neo-Nazi group to make it into a European parliament. The Greek government is exploiting this crime to go after both the Golden Dawn and the popular leftwing opposition party, SYRIZA.
Greece is the first European country where admirers of Hitler -- marching in the streets in black t-shirts and using the Nazi salute with Greek flags all around them -- are reaching unprecedented levels of support among the downtrodden Greeks, assaulted by international capitalism in the past four years.
Golden Dawn tells them that they should be proud to be Greek and that their problems stem from the influx of various brown-skinned “illegal” immigrants who, in addition to stealing their jobs, are not even Aryans.
Prior to the killing of the first Greek, the internationally and locally owned Greek mass media – which treated the brutal beatings and murder of non-Greeks as less newsworthy -- had winked at Golden Dawn, seeing them as the government did, as shock troops against the continued unrest among the working people who are nearly 30% unemployed (60% among the young) and continually assaulted by new taxation invented everyday by a minority government operating under the dictates of the European Union banks and the IMF.
The current Greek government has resurrected the theory of the “two extremes” – the far right and the left. They continually equate the neo-Nazis with the leftist opposition parties: SYRIZA, a coalition of social democrat, green and socialist groups. and with the Greek Communist Party (KKE). Both SYRIZA and KKE organize against the devastating Greek government policies of complete surrender to European bankers. This simple and sinister idea positions the Greek government in the middle of the political spectrum, making them appear as the only “logical” and “tempered” solution that will “save” Greece.
Never mind that these are the very same politicians who created the debt and participated in the graft, bribery and theft, aided and abetted by the very same bankers who now demand that all Greek public assets and lands be sold off. Bankrupt Greek industry can then fall into the hands of international “investors.” At the same time, worker rights and social safety nets, hard won over the last fifty or so years, disappear. The Parthenon for a Euro?
In a chilling and sinister demonstration of the theory of “the two extremes,” Fyssas’s killing has emboldened the Greek government to ready a new law that designates both the Golden Dawn and leftwing parties as illegal and to expel them from parliament.
The outcry in Greece against this move extended to the European Parliament member and Austrian Social Democrat Party leader Hannes Swoboda. Swoboda called a press conference condemning this move and pressed the Greek government to “use the existing and numerous Greek laws” to take immediate action against the Golden Dawn.
Alexis Tsipras, the leader of SYRIZA, called for the prosecution of the Golden Dawn on the basis of any violation of existing laws. But declaring the Golden Dawn illegal, he pointed out, would violate the principles of democracy and free elections.
In the rush to grab prime Greek real estate and ailing Greek companies and in beating the drum of “fiscal discipline,” European capital has created a monster reminiscent of the Weimar Republic, in which the unemployed masses found solace in the violent language and politics of the Nazi party. Then international capital winked at and worked with Hitler. Currently European capital and the mass media in Greece are winking at and working with the Golden Dawn.
The dangerous genie is out of the bottle. It will be a herculean task to put it back