Golden Dawn leader and ten of his colleagues arrested
As support for Golden Dawn more than halved this week from 14% to 6.7%, many leading commentators here have growing doubts about the motives behind police actions since the murder of Leftist hip-hop rapper Pavlos Fissas ten days ago. Three hours ago Athens sources confirmed to me that GD leader Nikolaos Mihaloliakos and ten other Party members – including prominent MPs – have been arrested on charges of “forming a criminal political Party”. It is notable that none of the accused, I’m told, have been arrested in direct connection with the murder of Fissas.
Unconfirmed reports further suggest that Elias Kasidiaris (the Golden Dawn Athens mayoral candidate hotly tipped to win that City election) has also been taken into custody. If true, this will further fuel the widespread belief that these events represent an attempt by the Samaras Government to guarantee themselves a clear victory in any future elections. Without Golden Dawn in the running, many traditional voters would switch to Samaras’s Party New Democracy. This would leave Alexis Tsipras and Syriza once more neutered in opposition.