Greek Parliament Contemplates Banning Far-right Golden Dawn Party
The Greek government has hinted that it will seek to ban Golden Dawn after the far-right party was linked to the murder of a leading leftwing musician in Athens.
As violence erupted on the streets and demonstrators protested after the fatal stabbing of Pavlos Fyssas, a prominent anti-fascist, the public order minister, Nikos Dendias, cancelled a trip abroad saying the government would table emergency legislation that would seek to outlaw the group.
Amid renewed political tensions between the extreme left and right, the new law would re-evaluate what constituted a criminal gang, he said.
“Neither the state will tolerate, nor society accept, acts and practices that undermine the legal system,” the minister told reporters, adding that the attack showed “in the clearest way the [party’s] intentions”.
More at: theguardian.com
Looks like the Greek government may have had enough of this party’s antics. There’s always a lively debate to be had on the wisdom of banning political parties in a democratic state; I can see both the pros and cons of such a move. Germany, for example, has banned some far-right political parties in the past, as has the Czech Republic, though quite often, these parties typically just change their names and sometimes swap out some of the top leadership positions and re-emerge.
On the one hand, it’s pretty clear that Golden Dawn is a genuinely dangerous neo-fascist political party that advocates violence against its perceived enemies; on the other hand, banning them simply adds to their persecution complex and drives them underground. In the case of Golden Dawn, the authorities would actually need to aggressively go after the party members, especially those whom they believe are actively involved in either committing or advocating acts of violence. I can imagine it would pretty damned easy to make a case that the Golden Dawn Party is essentially a domestic terrorist organization.
The problem of the Golden Dawn is somewhat compounded as a good many members of the police forces are themselves Golden Dawn party members.
It’s a tough call, and I remain agnostic on the issue of outright bans on political parties. It’s usually better to sic law enforcement on them, but if - as it’s been reported - law enforcement is in cahoots with an extremist political party, that makes the situation far more difficult to deal with.