• Outsiders want Greek nationalist party burned at stake
• AFP conducts exclusive interview with jailed leader’s wife
By Pete Papaherakles
The witch-hunt against the populist political party, the Golden Dawn (GD), continues in Greece as the government and the mass media relentlessly portray an image of the GD as a criminal terrorist organization with mercenary cells, weapons hoards hidden all over Greece and a mystery money-man secretly financing them.
Almost universally, major TV newscasters in Greece conducted a smear campaign against the GD. The print media featured 20-page exposes on how a “hate-filled Nazi terror group” grew out of control due to Greece’s debt crisis woes and how they should have been stopped long ago.
Footage of Hitler speeches and goose-stepping Nazis was shown by media outlets as well as center-spread pictures of GD members in military garb with huge swastikas in the background.
Across the country, Greek police carried out a Soviet-style shakedown of Golden Dawn offices and members’ homes in the hope of finding some hidden weapons cache or any other incriminating evidence to use against party members. In one case a rubber pellet toy rifle was portrayed as a lethal assault rifle.
All this was coupled with “testimony” from an anonymous witness with his back turned to the camera and a garbled voice telling tales of having been a former member of a secret network of GD’s mercenary squads. He, of course, didn’t kill anyone, but the others did, yet he has no names, no dates, no places, no specific victims or crime details.
The Mega TV channel, which is an enemy of GD, offered a free home, car and new identity to anyone who will testify against the GD in some sort of “witness protection” fantasy program.
On October 8, AMERICAN FREE PRESS spoke with Eleni Zaroulia, the wife of GD’s imprisoned leader, Nikos Michaloliakos. Mrs. Zaroulia is one of the 18 GD members of Parliament.
“All this media frenzy is having no effect on the people of Greece,” she told this reporter. “If anything, it’s actually working to our favor. Haven’t you seen the latest polls?”
She was referring to several polls that have been aired over the last two days that contradict the media’s allegations that GD support has plummeted to 6% since the arrests of GD leaders over allegations that they were somehow involved in the murder of a “rapper.”
Two major polls of 43,000 and 50,000 people respectively revealed that GD’s support has actually increased to 19%, elevating the party to second place. The second poll showed the GD maintaining a solid 15% support. But when informally asked who they would vote for if elections were held next week, 39% of respondents said the GD, placing them well into first place with the two leading parties getting a meager 18% and 11%.
The same poll also revealed that the majority of respondents believed that the persecution of the GD was politically motivated and not due to criminal activity.
“This was confirmed by several experts,” said Mrs. Zaroulia, “and even the former Justice Minister, Antonis Roupakiotis, who resigned only a few months ago, said last week that the GD crackdown was ordered from abroad.”
In an interview with Skai TV, Mr. Roupakiotis revealed that “Jewish-American and Greek-American organizations were coming to Greece to [push for the arrest of] GD. Obviously, the prime minister had to tell them something.”
Although a leftist, Mr. Roupakiotis, who was also chairman of the Athens Bar Association, did not allow political differences to get in the way of telling the truth. He said the operation against GD was orchestrated in view of the PM’s trip to the United States.
“We’re undertaking the EU presidency starting in January and there was pressure from the [European] Commission to do something about GD,” he said, noting that commission members were concerned Greece had not enacted any of the type of anti-racist measures and statutes banning so-called “Holocaust denial” that the EU demands that its member nations implement.
Roupakiotis—who actually drafted an anti-racism bill which failed in May—noted that Greece will be fined starting in January because no such bill has been approved. Now, according to him, the government is in a hurry to pass such a bill under orders from abroad.
It is significant to note that Greek PM Antonis Samaras just met with Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu and President Shimon Peres in Jerusalem. Eight of Samaras’s top ministers—including Deputy PM Evangelos Venizelos and Public Order Minister Nikos Dendias—were also there. Dendias is the man responsible for the arrests and persecution of GD. Samaras publicly declared in Israel that “We will wipe out the GD.”
Mrs. Zaroulia said that she gets an incredible amount of support from the people. “Everyone on the street comes up to me and tells me they are on our side and they don’t believe any of the lies against us,” she said. She added that she is in communication with her husband and he is in good spirits. “He knows that there is no case against him and that the people are behind him,” she said.
Although Mrs. Zaroulia is convinced her husband will be released soon, she is not sure when that will happen. “He has not even formally been indicted yet,” she said. “The arraignment proceedings have still not taken place. . . . They won’t be able to keep him for long,” she said. “They have produced nothing of substance to charge him with, and his very arrest is illegal and unconstitutional.”
Pete Papaherakles is a writer and political cartoonist for AFP and is also AFP’s outreach director. Pete is interested in getting AFP writers and editors on the podium at patriotic events. Call him at 202-544-5977 if you know of an event you think AFP should attend.