Greek neo-Nazi party to run even if banned
The Greek neo-Nazi party Golden Dawn will find a way to participate in local elections and elections to the European Parliament even if harsh measures are adopted against it. Party spokesperson Ilias Kasidiaris issued the party's official statement on the issue this past Saturday.
Reuters reports that if the Greek authorities make it impossible for Golden Dawn to participate in the May elections, it could be replaced by a new party with the name "National Dawn". "We are participating in these elections one way or the other," Kasidiaris, who is an MP, told a gathering of roughly 3 000 supporters in the center of Athens who were commemorating the anniversary of a 1996 dispute about islands in the Aegean Sea that brought Greece and Turkey to the brink of war.
The Associated Press reports that Kasidiaris said "Patriots will have a party to vote for in the next elections" should authorities manage to ban Golden Dawn. The fate of the ultra-right party is being closely followed in the run-up to the May elections.
Golden Dawn, which denies it is a neo-Nazi party, could end up with a relatively large amount of votes in that contest. According to two public opinion surveys published last week, if polls were held now the party would receive between 8.9 and 10.3 % of the vote.
One-third of the 18 Golden Dawn MPs, specifically, party leader Nikolaos Michaloliakos and five other legislators, are in custody on charges of membership in a criminal organization. Their arrests are related to the murder of left-wing activist and popular singer Pavlos Fisas last September.
The MPs have already appeared in court, where they denied any responsibility for the murder and called the charges against them politically motivated. The defendants believe the charges are related to the fact that Golden Dawn is starting to be more and more popular among Greeks.
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