Rally held at the spot where rapper Pavlos Fyssas was murdered 10 years ago, Monday, September 18, 2023. (Photo by MICHALIS KARAGIANNIS/EUROKINISSI)
ATHENS – It was the event that brought the beginning of the end for the neo-Nazi Golden Dawn hierarchy, the essential dismantling of the party – but not of far-right extremism in Greece that’s still a presence.
It was the 2013 stabbing death of anti-Fascist rapper Pavlos Fyssas by a Golden Dawn member, Giorgos Roupakias, who said it was just a “simple murder” after an altercation at a cafe before being convicted and sentenced to life in jail.
Ten years after, Fyssas was remembered with a gathering in the Piraeus suburb of Keratsini, where the Sept. 18 incident took place, grimly captured in a photo showing him slumped with a mortal wound to the heart.
His artistic name was Killa P, the slaying coming as Golden Dawn was a growing influence before protests to the murder began its downfall, the leadership and Members of Parliament jailed after being convicted of running a criminal gang.
During his trial, Roupakias told the court the incident had been “blown out of proportion” claiming he was defending himself and that Fyssas was trying to hit him, but a forensic investigator failed to find any evidence.
Roupakias, a self-professed member of Golden Dawn, said it wasn’t premeditated and that he had never heard of Fyssas but was on his way to another incident when he drove past the cafe where the victim was sitting with friends.
“Everything happened very fast,” he told the court, proceeding to claim that as soon as he parked his car, Fyssas approached him with three or four other men and started beating him.
He said he had a knife in the glove compartment, which he used to “defend” himself from Fyssas’ alleged punches – which was found not to be true – and that he first stabbed Fyssas in the leg and then in his heart, “as he went down.”
Golden Dawn’s leader Nikos Michaloliakos and the party’s lawmakers were jailed in 2020 but in their wake other far-right extremists have emerged, including the Spartiates party that has 12 seats in the 300-member Parliament.
But that Spartiates are said to be influenced, if not controlled, by Golden Dawn’s jailed former spokesman, Ilias Kasidiaris, who founded the National Greeks party that was barred from running in this year’s elections.
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