ATHENS, Greece —
Given the seriousness of their cases, the arrested Golden Dawn suspects are expected to be transferred to a prison as they await trial. However, the jailed lawmakers will remain members of parliament and only lose their seats if they are convicted or resign.
The government said it plans to introduce legislation Monday aimed at cutting all state funding to Golden Dawn, which is slated to receive more than (euro) 873,000 ($1.18 million) in 2013.
The prosecution was made possible by a report from a Supreme Court prosecutor, Haralambos Vourliotis. The report lays out the allegations against the Golden Dawn leadership, including murder, attempted murder, carrying out explosions, possessing explosives and robbery.
The prosecutor’s report says that from the moment Golden Dawn was founded, in 1987, as a neo-Nazi organization, the party structure was paralleled by a military-type operational force whose trained members attacked people, mainly immigrants, based on the party’s ideology. The strict hierarchical structure meant the party leadership knew of every local attack and commands flew from the top to local chapters, the report says.
The report mentions that “the wrath against immigrants is not uniform, since, in many cases, they use the latter to sell various items, keeping the lion’s share of the proceeds and providing (these immigrants) with protection.”
Officially, Golden Dawn has railed against those illegal street vendors, stoking the anger of the public and store owners who have seen their businesses losing customers, with many closing, since the start of Greece’s economic crisis.
The report also mentions that in several cases, members of the police have helped Golden Dawn members in their criminal acts, adding that this merits further investigation.
On Sunday, the Brussels-based European Jewish Congress welcomed the crackdown on Golden Dawn, calling it “a long overdue move which will hopefully send a very strong message to neo-Nazis in Greece and across Europe.”