ATHENS — The verdict in the trial of the ultra-right party Golden Dawn – a trial unprecedented on a global scale in recent history – is due to be announced by an Athens Criminal Appeals Court next week, on Wednesday, October 7 at 11:00.
With its ruling, the court is called on to decide whether the accused are guilty or not guilty of forming a criminal organisation and to provide an answer to an issue of critical legal and social importance, which will have a profound impact on the present and future, regarding a political party that was elected to the Greek and European parliaments in three separate elections. Based on the charges, Golden Dawn was a criminal organisation that had the legal form of a party and enjoyed enhanced constitutional protection as a result.
In an interview concerning the upcoming verdict, Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis hailed his own party's role in taking down Golden Dawn and bringing its leader to trial for the murder of Pavlos Fyssas.
"Our country's experience from the disastrous passage of the nazi formation of Golden Dawn was traumatic, painful and unfortunately, very bloody… I feel satisfaction that the arguments of democracy banished it from parliament and the rule of law from our daily lives," he said to the newspaper "Efimerida ton Syntakton".
The lesson learned from this episode, he added, was that it grew out of blind populism, "which established lies in public discourse, which promoted easy and simplistic answers to difficult and complex questions, and which united opposing party slogans under the same extreme behaviour. On this soil of grey confusion, the seed of black propaganda fell and the parasite of those nostalgic for Hitler grew," Mitsotakis said.
He noted that the political world was too slow to react in the face of the danger and "the most vulgar and horrific expression of demagoguery, which is fascism." He said this was permitted by forces "that in the name of temporary interest, left cracks through which the para-state could open the door of politics".
He emphasised that New Democracy was and remains an opponent of Golden Dawn and of any force undermining the democratic regime and its smooth operation, leading the drive to bring those that broke the law to justice.
Noting that Greece had suffered as few other countries from nazism, Mitsotakis noted that "there is no room in our country for its supporters and imitators. Bigoted nationalism we counter with genuine patriotism, totalitarianism with pluralism, conflict with dialogue, division with unity and extremism with reason. At the same time, we translate the negative experience into a positive and fertile national legacy."