Political neglect of the Greek police has allowed members of the ultranationalist Golden Dawn party to infiltrate the country’s security services while encouraging underpaid officers to accept support from society’s energetic, far-right fascist elements, a senior officer claims.
“There wasn’t the necessary political will, in order to remove these droplets of fascism that have existed for many years in the Greek police force,” the officer said during a video report by the Greece-based Infowar Productions. “This is the best weapon used by Golden Dawn in order to infiltrate such isolated units. These policemen feel depreciated and isolated. They are badly paid and work under the worst conditions. They are attacked with stones and firebombs. They look for support.”
Greek fascists blame immigrants and communists for the country’s economic problems. Interview subjects reported seeing supporters of Golden Dawn beat up handcuffed immigrants and working-class people who oppose the party’s message while police officers looked on. The anonymous officer in the video says that the government is complicit in the targeting of Golden Dawn’s opponents.
“The state apparatus, the secret and security services, have known Golden Dawn’s every move for many years now,” the officer says. He adds that he fears the conservative government could use the party to suppress dissent from the political left.
Golden Dawn won nearly 7 percent of the vote in June elections, taking 18 seats in parliament. A recent opinion poll suggests support for the party has doubled since then. Because fear breeds reactionary politics, further deterioration of the nation’s economy would likely swell support for Golden Dawn even further.
—Posted by Alexander Reed Kelly.
Speaking to the Guardian on condition of anonymity, the officer said the Greek state had been fully aware of the activities of Golden Dawn for several years, with the National Intelligence Service and other security agencies monitoring it closely. The officer claimed police chiefs had had the opportunity to isolate and remove these small “pockets of fascism” in the force but decided not to. The state, he said, wanted to keep the fascist elements “in reserve” and use them for its own purposes.
The officer said he believed that Golden Dawn members could be used against the Greek left, which has led popular street protests against the government and austerity measures imposed by the EU. He expressed his belief that neo-fascist groups may already have acted as agents provocateurs during demonstrations across the country, to provoke clashes between demonstrators and the police or even between demonstrators themselves.
George Laoutaris (CC BY-ND 2.0)