Greek politics: Neonazis on the chessboard
Several protests, demonstrations and actions are taking place all over Greece after 34-year-old antifascist activist Pavlos Fyssas was assaulted and stabbed by neonazis in the center of Athens. The events came during a 5-day strike of the teachers’ unions with several protests already planned. Although the murderer has already admitted that he was acting on account of Golden Dawn, the organisation itself is denying that and even go as far as threatening they will sue anyone who claims their involvement in the incidents. The murder of Pavlos Fyssas came a few days after another incident when some 40 Golden Dawn members brutally attacked a group of people posting flyers from PAME, a union led mostly by the Greek communist party KKE, seriously injuring several of them.
A few days ago Babis Papadimitriou, a journalist in the mainstream TV channel SKAI, was arguing, in a jaw-dropping display of cynicism, that a more “serious” Golden Dawn ought to participate in the government coalition. For the sake of the country. Papadimitriou wasn’t the first person that attempted to flirt with the blackshirts. During the last 1,5 years the Greek society has witnessed the most eerie parade of cynicism and petty-bourgeois self-righteousness, featuring famous singers, journalists and last but not least center-winged politicians speaking in favour of the neonazi organisation.
All the above signify two things. Firstly, the nazis have been meticulously shifting their agenda towards the “internal enemy” -the “anti-Hellenes” in Greek neofascist phraseology- rather than “the threat of millions of immigrants that swarm to Greece.” Their rhetoric carefully includes anarchists, communists and leftists in general, along the usual delirium of racism and puritanism with special focus on sanitation habits. Secondly, the coalition government, who has been trying to lure Golden Dawn voters back, is now following a new trend. The so-called theory of the extremes comes to full blossom as a tool to extort the Greek people as well as SYRIZA into the government coalition. In other words, if SYRIZA doesn’t compromise into the government coalition then New Democracy, who leads the current coalition, would be open to cooperation with the neonazis. Golden Dawn therefore becomes not only an extra means of oppression, in the practical sense, acting on top of the special police units against social movements, but a means of blackmailing too. If SYRIZA is to succumb to this extortion, the political division of the movements will become more fragmented and effectively shattered under the boot of a powerful extreme-right shadowy state, loyal to the guidelines of neoliberalism.
New Democracy, the main party in coalition, has been working hard on this tactic with several of their prominent suits patting Golden Dawn members and voters on the back. New Democracy found itself leaning a lot more to the right after leader Samaras updated the party’s roaster with the first half of what was left after LAOS, a Lepen-style neofascist party, practically dissolved. It should not be a surprise of course that the other half ended up in Golden Dawn. PASOK, on the other hand, as the second coalition party is no less to blame. Since the 90’s, several past PASOK governments were shrugging in ignorance whenever politicians and activists of the left were concerned with Golden Dawn’s gradual infiltration into the Greek police as well as the juridical leniency they appeared to enjoy even back at the times when Golden Dawn numbered to a handful of national-socialist lunatics. PASOK’s recent plummeting in popularity, with the once glorious political party now fearing to remain out of parliament, urged them to launch a campaign against the rise of fascism and Golden Dawn in particular. This campaign, that took the meaning of the word hypocrisy to an entirely new level, is a desperate and pitiful endeavour to maintain the party’s socialist facade. However, their political influence is currently so small that they can afford to publicly disagree, appearing to exercise internal government criticism, while in truth they are simply the silent partner.
The ultimate expression of “center-winged extremism” is manifesting itself through a mind-twisting paradox: New Democracy, now including some of Golden Dawn’s old boys, embraces the neonazi trend, while, at the same time, pointing their fingers towards the neonazis as the greatest threat to democracy currently.
With the German elections coming up, speculation about the following political developments in Greece is running wild regardless of the election results. Meanwhile, the neonazis are infiltrating workers’ unions and taking an even more aggressive stance in the streets spreading hatred among the people served through a textbook nazi tactic: the absolute distortion of history, historical memory and ultimately reality itself. The need emerges, now more than ever, for unity on the common platform of antifascism against the neoliberal coalition government and their praetors in black shirts.