Trade unionists would openly affiliate with Golden Dawn
Vasilis G. Labropoulos
Published: 10/10/2013 17:40
A few months ago some hundreds policemen were ready to launch “Golden Police”; that is, an official trade union police branch affiliated to the Golden Dawn. The policemen were in direct contact with extreme right-wing MPs and were ready to officially lobby the Greek Police to adopt extremist positions against foreigners and other social groups.
However, this communication was noted by high-ranked police officers and other trade unionists, who managed to cancel the launch of the new trade union. They estimated that the official confirmation of the already existing connection between the Police and Golden Dawn would severely damage the image of the Greek Police at home and abroad.
On the other hand, other Police trade unionists reported to “Vima” that when they published a communication to defend their colleagues in Crete and Anavyssos who were bullied by GD, Police HQ in Athens strongly “proposed” they “keep low profile because they [the bullies] were MPs”.
“Vima” uncovers the most prominent case which underlines the affinity of an important portion of the Greek Police with the Golden Dawn; a case already examined by the Internal Affairs Department of the Greek Police.
The movement (!) of “Golden Police” or “Golden Reserve”, as they thought they would rename it, appeared first time at the May 2013 local election of the Athens branch of the Greek Police Officer Union, which has approximately 8500 members.
Lawyer Mr. Vaios Skambardonis, the legal representative of the union, says: “A few months ago in the police trade union a political decision had been made to launch a multi-partisan electoral system. Then, we spotted movement from 15-20 officers who were affiliated with GD: they were organizing towards launching an independent party for the election. What happened then is that we—I had personal involvement in this—met with high-ranked members of political parties and we also met with the Ministry of Public Order. The purpose of the meetings was to lobby against the GD union party so that GD would not be given official platform in the police force. Eventually we avoided them running for union office; however, after the elections we saw the union diminishing in numbers since, apparently, the union without GD would not represent the political ideas of the officers anymore…”
According to other officers, the extremist representatives came from the Special Branch of Attica, from departments inside Athens, from the Riot Police, the Traffic Corps, and from other branches as well.
An active trade unionist of the Greek Police we met last Thursday evening, said: “The officers who wanted to run for office with the extreme right-wing said that they would name their party “Golden Police” [Chrysi Astynomia]. Some said they would name it “Golden Reserve” [Chrysi Efedreia]. Our estimate was that despite them being new in the union business, they would get at least 10% of the votes. However, there was the danger of Greece being internationally ridiculed because of the official representation of Golden Dawn in the police. Moreover, they would promote officially in the police force their own opinions about the treatment of foreigners, right-wing extremists, etc. I have to mention though that a couple of “Golden Police” initiators eventually found a place to run for office as representatives of other parties.”
“We were being told not to criticize GD MPs”
Another issue which illustrates the size of the infiltration of GD to Greek Police and the confusion among high-ranked police officers can be found in the reports of other trade unionists to “Vima”.
According to these reports, “when we dared criticize the GD for their offensive comments against police officers we were told from Police HQ to calm down and not become aggressive. A similar response came from HQ when the troubles happened at GD’s Anavyssos branch (which was shut down as some of their members were involved in various illegal activities). Similarly, we received such HQ communication when GD attacked a member of the Communist Party and when GD MPs offended certain police officers in Crete”.
Translated from ‘To Vima’ newspaper. Online at: http://www.tovima.gr/society/article/?aid=534150