Athens.- “It is extremely important for the country and the society and for main opposition SYRIZA to isolate the extremist elements that exist in the party” said Citizens Protection Minister Nikos Dendias in an interview with NEA newspaper on Saturday, adding however that “nobody can accept that SYRIZA is an extreme party. Particularly, if we also bear in mind that SYRIZA was voted by 27 percent of the Greek people.
Dendias’ interview comes a day after the Prime Minister repeated his “two extremes theory”, speaking to his party’s cadres.
“Criminal violence was not only exercised in Perama, it was also exercised in the torching of Marfin Bank [during an anti-austerity demonstration in Athens on May 5, 2010, leading to three deaths]. It is the responsibility of all sides to condemn all forms of violence and to criticise expressions of violence, not present themselves as defence witnesses at the trials of killers,” he said addressing the New Democracy party’s Political Committee, noting that the law would crack down equally on the leftist and anarchist groups that break the law.
“As the feeling of security becomes established, so will the neo-Nazis be isolated,” Samaras said, adding that democratic parties cannot draw distinctions between ‘good’ and ‘bad’ violence and urging all political forces to support legality “without footnotes or provisos”.
“The theory of good and bad violence feeds violence and extremism,” he added.
“They are dangerous for democracy because they create assault squads and exercise violence. We are dealing with them as they deserve, as criminals, and justice will have its say,” the premier said. According to Samaras, the presence of neo-Nazis was an embarrassment for Greece as it struggled to emerge from the crisis and sought to improve its position.
“We must be done with them. We must be ruthless toward the neo-Nazis and show zero tolerance, while at the same time eradicating the causes that created them; and this is precisely what we are doing,” Samaras said.
The prime minister pointed to the authorities’ rapid response after the murder of 34-year-old musician Pavlos Fyssas by Golden Dawn (Chryssi Avgi) supporters in Keratsini and the fact that justice had arrested and charged Parliamentary deputies – for the first time in a European country.
“We have now shown that the political will exists and this is a significant step forward. Democracy is fighting and defeating its enemies but not becoming the same as its enemies. Democracy protects the rights even of its enemies. If the charges are proven they will suffer the consequences and, in the meantime, those funding them will be exposed, showing who supported them even though they knew,” Samaras underlined.
Main opposition SYRIZA called Citizen Protection Minister Nikos Dendias “even with delay to condemn his party (New Democracy) MPs statements that were flirting with the idea of a possible co-governance with the criminal formation of Golden Dawn (Chryssi Avghi) and to isolate the extremists that exist in ND.
Responding to Dendias’ interview to NEA newspaper on Saturday who said that ‘extremist elements exist in the main opposition party’, SYRIZA noted that “the mud and the speculation against the Left and the social struggle have margins”.
In its announcement SYRIZA said that “Citizen Protection Minister remains faithful to Prime Minister Antonis Samaras’ dangerous line and hypocritically rejects the government’s responsibilities on Golden Dawn’s activity and follows his party’s theory on the two extremes.
In response to Samaras’ statements, SYRIZA said:
“The prime minister, in a rare moment of self-criticism, has admitted that not so long ago there was a lack of political will to eradicate Nazi violence,” SYRIZA underlined. According to the party, the prime minister’s “admission of guilt” served to highlight the government’s “grave political responsibility” because it had failed to act on the specific complaints filed. On the contrary, SYRIZA added, the government had even flirted with the idea of governing alongside ultra-right Golden Dawn (GD).
We do not believe and we do not accept the theory of the two extremes, because violence can’t be divided into individual parts. It can’t be cut in pieces. Violence is not two extremes, is one extreme” said PASOK party sources answering to press questions on Prime Minister Antonis Samaras’ address to his New Democracy (ND) Political Committee on Friday.
Under any circumstances, PASOK sources said “PASOK reiterates the need of the rallying of all the democratic parties in the struggle against extreme-right Golden Dawn (Chryssi Avghi) with a stable and clear front”.
On the occasion of the 69th anniversary from Greece’s liberation from the nazis on Saturday, PASOK underlined “We have to pay honour to our co-patriots, victims of the nazis and have national unity, cohesion and stability in our country”
The Communist Party of Greece (KKE), in an announcement on Friday criticised Prime Minister Antonis Samaras’s address made to the ruling New Democracy party’s Political Committee.
The KKE said that the prime minister was demanding “submission to the antipopular policy, aiming at putting in the same sack the criminal action of Golden Dawn and the provocations with the justified labour working class mobilisations”.
The announcement added that “despite the fact that Golden Dawn’s criminal Nazi action has nothing to do with the organised working class movement, Mr. Samaras is invoking legality with the aim of imposing the barbaric antipopular policy, together with his efforts to beautify it, cultivating false hopes and expectations for relief that will come from the creation of a primary surplus.”