The ruling of the Athens Appeal Court of Felonies on October 7, 2020, was the Nemesis to the Hubris Golden Dawn had been to the Rule of Law. This neo-Nazi formation attempted to test the resilience of our Democracy. It received the appropriate answer.
As I mentioned in my cover letter, on September 19, 2013, as Minister of Public Order and Citizen Protection, to the then Public Prosecutor of the Supreme Civil and Criminal Court (Areios Pagos), Ms Efterpi Koutzamani, on the occasion of the transfer of 32 proceedings related to the offences perpetrated by Golden Dawn members-supporters, which set in motion the judicial investigation that led to the historic court decision, the activity of the neo-Nazi formation exceeded the boundaries of isolated incidents. It provoked public sentiment, undermined Rule of Law, violated human rights and human dignity, and endangered public order and the internal security of the country.
Besides, as I had pointed out in my speech in Parliament, already since August 27, 2012, the actions of Storm Troopers in our country would not be tolerated, not even in the slightest.
The competent bodies of the Hellenic Republic should always be vigilant in case this phenomenon recurs in other guises.
They need to confront it undertaking the appropriate action, as they already do and I am certain they will continue to do. Phenomena such as attacks against ideological opponents and party members – whose unanimous condemnation is imperative regardless of political differences and views – should concern us.
However, addressing the root causes of the phenomenon is an issue not only for the State but also for Civil Society. The “trigger” for the emergence of would-be successors or imitators of the neo-Nazi phenomenon, who are trying to “poison” even adolescent souls with their repulsive ideas, is no longer the unprecedented economic crisis of the last decade. It is the widespread hate speech, the endorsement of conspiracy theories and the sense of alienation of a section of citizens from the political system, combined with the insecurity caused by the pandemic, which breeds similar phenomena not only in Greece but also in other countries, even in countries that are deemed advanced. These are phenomena that the adherents of this repugnant ideology are attempting to exploit in order to come back to the fore.
Parliamentary Democracy needs to seek a convincing answer to that. So that there will never be another murder such as that of Pavlos Fyssas, so that there will never be another criminal organization with the characteristics of Golden Dawn. It is the duty of all of us.