Tuesday, 1 October 2013

The real reasons for the crackdown on Golden Dawn



Many right-wing supporters of prime minister Antonis Samaras must be asking themselves if the theory of the two extremes – which suggests that Syriza and Golden Dawn are equivalent in their willingness to deploy violence and extra-parliamentary means in pursuit of political goals – has now, with the crackdown on Golden Dawn, been abandoned. And if, rather than the more recent brutality of Golden Dawn, it isn’t the tolerance of leftist violence and terrorism since 1974 that has undermined the social and political fabric of the country; and given its support and sympathy for the murder and mayhem anarchist and far left elements have caused in Greece, whether Syriza is just as much a criminal organisation as Golden Dawn; and if it isn’t the case that the prospect of a Syriza government is much more of a threat to Greece than the thuggish antics of Golden Dawn.

In which case, supporters of Samaras must be wondering what has prompted the prime minister to go after Golden Dawn in the way he has, concocting a case – which many Greek legal experts regard as flimsy (see video above) – that aims to prove that the ultra-nationalist party is in fact a criminal organisation.

Dr Giorgos Filis, who teaches international relations at the American College in Athens, suggests in this article (in Greek) the following political and geopolitical factors must be taken into account when considering Samaras’ motives:

The increasing popularity of Golden Dawn had to be halted, especially given that 2014 is a year of local and European Parliament elections. Filis also suggests that the action against Golden Dawn is a useful means to divert public attention from the catastrophic economic situation and the new measures to come.

Furthermore, Filis says, it is not a coincidence that the moves against Golden Dawn took place at a time when Deputy Prime Minister Evangelos Venizelos was visiting the USA and having important contacts with US officials and luminaries from the Jewish lobby and on the eve of the prime minister’s visit to the USA, where he will be having similar contacts.

Regarding Israel, which has obvious sensitivities to phenomenon such as Golden Dawn, on 8 October Samaras is due to visit Jerusalem to preside, with his Israeli counterpart, over the convening of the Greece-Israel High Level Cooperation Council. Filis also points out that Israel has a defining role in the unfolding energy and geopolitical developments affecting Greece and Cyprus in the Eastern Mediterranean. Thus, Golden Dawn’s anti-semitism and neo-Nazi reputation couldn’t be allowed to derail or undermine this nascent Israel-Cyrpus-Greece axis.

Filis says the Greek government has every reason to clash with Golden Dawn and has, in fact, been preparing to do so for months, collecting relevant details, waiting for the appropriate pretext and the right alignment of external and internal political factors.

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