April 11, 2014

Racism Within the Greek State Apparatus

Dimitris Christopoulos

This study does not cover ultra-right political culture in Greece in a general way, nor even Golden Dawn per se, but poses a simpler question: How is to be explained that Golden Dawn is being treated by the State as another organization in the mold of the “17 November” group, despite the obvious fact that the latter, quite unlike Golden Dawn, only operated for many years under cover of darkness and illegality? What are the ties, the inactions, the ideological or other mechanisms that for so long prevented the Greek State from doing its job with respect to an organization now all-too easily characterized as “criminal” under the relevant article of the penal code? For example, why must the minister in charge first issue an order to the leadership of the Supreme Court before a criminal investigation can even begin?

In the famous conclusion by the deputy public prosecutor at the Supreme Court, one reads that all it took to begin the recent anti-Golden Dawn mobilization was for a document to be sent over by the minister of public order and citizen protection (the latter being, again, the same person who a year earlier had announced his intent to sue The Guardian for the newspaper’s article on the torture of anarchists by police officers with Golden Dawn sympathies or affiliations). The prosecution was also prompted by “a number of articles in various newspapers regarding the activities of the party Popular Association – Golden Dawn, which, according to the aforementioned ministerial report, exceed the limits of single events, provoke public morals, undermine the authority of the rule of law, offend human rights and human dignity, endanger public order and the country’s internal security, and expose its democratic tradition and its legal culture as well as its obligations emanating from international and European law…”

Why, then, did we have to reach that point? This is what the present study tries to explain, especially today, at a time when things appear to be changing.