Setting Golden Dawn Having Trouble Paying Rent

FILE - Supporters of Greece's extreme right Golden Dawn raise torches during a rally commemorating a 1996 military incident which cost the lives of three Greek navy officers and brought Greece and Turkey to the brink of war, in Athens, on Saturday, Feb. 2, 2019. (AP Photo/Yorgos Karahalis)

ATHENS – Bounced out of the Greek Parliament in July 7 snap elections after falling out of favor with voters, the accused neo-Nazi Golden Dawn party, with all its 15 lawmakers on trial on charges of running a criminal gang, can’t afford the rent on its headquarters.

The party cut off from state funding by Parliament in 2013, losing taxpayer subsidies that are given to political groups represented in the 300-member body, with no accounting of how the money is being spent.

Golden Dawn, its hierarchy in the fourth year of a trial that also involves dozens of members, has it main offices on the major thoroughfare of  Mesogeion Avenue in the neighborhood of Ambelokipi.

The party has relied on contributions from party lawmakers who get generous salaries, now losing those as they won’t be in Parliament, with Kathimerini reporting on the party’s woes after it got 2.95 percent of the vote, just 0.5 percent short of the threshold needed to get back into Parliament.

Yiannis Lagos, a former deputy who in May was elected as a Member of the European Parliament, said he was becoming an independent because he disagreed with party policy, with party leaders demanding he give up his seat, but didn’t.

Lagos is among more than a dozen senior GD members on trial for belonging to a criminal gang that attacked immigrants and leftists, with one accused of the 2013 murder of anti-Fascist hip-hop artist Pavlos Fyssas.