Greece’s far-right Golden Dawn party has been thrown into crisis after one of its MPs broke ranks before a crucial vote by the parliament in Athens that is likely to pave the way for criminal charges to be brought against the party’s 18 MPs.
As the legislature prepared to cancel politicians’ immunity from prosecution in the coming days – following charges that the MPs ran the neofascist force as a criminal organisation – Chrysovalantis Alexopoulos abandoned the party, citing ignorance of its activities. The extremists, whose emblem bears a resemblance to the swastika and whose leadership is prone to giving Nazi salutes, are seen as Europe’s most violent political force.
And what are these activities which could lead to criminal charges?
Since the extremists were catapulted into parliament with 7% of the vote on the back of widespread fury with the political establishment almost two years ago, immigrants, leftists and gay people have been attacked, often brutally, by black-clad Golden Dawn supporters.
An in-depth investigation of the group by magistrates was triggered by the fatal stabbing of a popular leftwing musician at the hands of a party operative last September.
Looks like a new kind of dawn is on the horizon.