As the irony emerged that Golden dawn was having some “visa problems” in entering Australia to peddle its anti-immigrant and anti-black story to a country of …. immigrants and the original black people, news broke of evidence that is said to be part of a prosecutors’ report against dozens of Golden Dawn members.
Golden Dawn recruited a butcher to train its members in the art of using a knife effectively, in order to “neutralize opponents,” a witness has told Greek prosecutors. Party members participated in the mass slaughter of sheep in various farms around the Attica region, which encompasses Athens and its suburbs, to learn the best technique for “striking directly at the jugular.” He’d heard, Witness E said, that the same butcher supplied guns to Golden Dawn members, as well. Other evidence prosecutors uncovered seems to back up his claim: The case file is littered with photos of members in military clothing carrying knives, swords, handguns, rifles, and, in one case, even a bazooka.
All this training was “in preparation to overthrow the Greek government,” Witness E suggested to prosecutors.
The prosecutors’ report was prepared in advance of the trials of dozens of members of Golden Dawn on charges ranging from assault to human trafficking to murder. On the eve of the first of the trials, slated to start mid-November, the investigation has revealed a group that had bigger, scarier ambitions than even their most cynical enemies imagined — and, despite its revolutionary goals, had far closer ties to the ruling coalition than much of the public realized.
See full report in the magazine Foriegn Policy (FP) here
The sitting government, led by Prime Minister Antonis Samaras, has been quick to celebrate its role in saving Greece from the neo-Nazi threat, but in bringing down Golden Dawn, the government has exposed itself to a series of potentially embarrassing revelations about just how close the relationship between New Democracy, the senior coalition member in parliament, and the neo-Nazis had become.
A few months before he was detained, Kasidiaris — the 33-year-old Vice once dubbed “the playboy of the Greek far-right,” who, before the arrest, was positioning himself as the natural heir to Michaloliakos — attempted to blackmail a prominent member of Greece’s New Democracy party, the senior partner in Greece’s coalition government. Kasidiaris released a tapein which he appeared to be discussing details of the case and possible outcomes with New Democracy’s cabinet secretary, Takis Baltakos, a few months after the arrests. On the tape, Baltakos can be heard telling Kasidiaris that “there is no evidence against you” repeatedly and telling him that the crackdown was politically motivated — that Prime Minister Samaras was worried that Golden Dawn’s popularity was a threat to his conservative ruling coalition. The scandal led to Baltakos’s resignation.
Even so, it now looks like the links between Baltakos and Golden Dawn were gravely underestimated. According to the most recent revelations, from further recordings Golden Dawn itself has leaked and phone records intercepted by government investigators, Baltakos was more than a sympathetic ear. Not only did he publicly suggest that New Democracy form a coalition with Golden Dawn in order to attract right-wing voters, but he was also in contact with Golden Dawn’s MPs, directing them how to vote on crucial matters in parliament, essentially aligning them with the coalition’s goals.
A series of text messages between an unnamed aide acting as a link between Baltakos and Kasidiaris contain instructions for various votes on matters ranging from drug policy tomilitary schools. They also show that Baltakos sent his “congratulations” on the behavior of the party’s MPs in the parliament, including on one instance when a Golden Dawn MP, during an argument on the floor, called members of the opposition party Syriza “goats” and “filthy” people before getting kicked out of the chamber. Throughout, the text messages show a familiarity between the two politicians: “Takis … came in and wants to see you,” one of the messages read, using the secretary’s first name. The problem is that Baltakos was not just anybody inside New Democracy: He was close with Prime Minister Samaras and his personal advisors.
New Democracy has always had mixed feelings toward Golden Dawn, an ambivalence driven largely by the view of a “specific nuclei” within the party, said Yiannis Mavris, a Greek political analyst, in an interview earlier this year: People like Baltakos and other close advisors to the prime minister see them less as thugs and more as misguided comrades.
The two parties competed for some of the same voters, and New Democracy saw Golden Dawn as a threat on its right flank.The two parties competed for some of the same voters, and New Democracy saw Golden Dawn as a threat on its right flank. But for some, like Baltakos, the far right was a natural extension of New Democracy, Greece’s main center-right party. Reports in the Greek mainstream media now suggestthat Baltakos, who is still in public life, is trying to set up a new, “serious” Golden Dawn, potentially with Ilias Kasidiaris at the helm if he’s acquitted, and with the co-operation of Michaloliakos’s brother, Athens lawyer Takis Michalolias — who, the same reports suggest, has been quietly recruiting new members since at least last year. Golden Dawn was already trying to present a new, respectable face during the 2014 European elections, where the party managed to garner 9.4 percent of the vote. During those elections, the party ran retired army officials — in contrast with their parliamentary slate which included heavy metal musicians and bouncers.