Golden Dawn cadres now aim to make political hay out of the two young men murdered outside the organisation’s Neo Irakleio offices, in an effort to reverse the negative public sentiment regarding the organisation. As far as they are concerned, their murder is a first-class opportunity for Golden Dawn to regain its influence.
The blood of slain 27-year-old Georgios Foundoulis and 22-year-old Manolis Kapelonis has hardly dried – with 29-year-old Alexandros Gerondas fighting for his life in hospital – yet party cadres are already rehashing their rhetoric about politicians and the press being morally responsible, and are making threats.
In fact, the intentions of Golden Dawn party officers were made obvious from the moment its two members were gunned down. Party press spokesman [and senior MP who is currently under judicial investigation following Pavlos Fyssas’s murder] Ilias Kasidiaris swiftly made statements about the “corrupt political system” that imprisons “Golden Dawn activists”.
Bashing the mainstream media
Party MPs at the Northern Athens branch headquartered in Neo Irakleio were equally vociferous in their verbal bashing of journalists, who in their view “turned a football-related sectarian incident such as Pavlos Fyssas’s murder into a political assassination”.
In fact, the fascist party’s officials realise that the double murder of its two young members is a great opportunity to reverse the negative public view of the organisation following a cascade of revelations that led to the arrest of its leader and several senior members.
The victimisation of Golden Dawn members may also elicit an emotional reaction from a section of the public, allowing the Nazi organisation to bounce back into the limelight.
The internet, Facebook and blogs of individual Golden Dawn followers are rife with threats and warnings against antifascists and all those who in their view disparaged Golden Dawn recently.
However, there is also a distinct effort to articulate a more composed political discourse, which many think might be a sign of things to come from Golden Dawn politicos.
The parents’ wishes
In contrast to Golden Dawn members, the parents of the murdered youths have asked to be allowed to send off their dead without party political interference or tension.
Georgios Foundoulis’s relatives have issued a telling announcement emphasising the following:
“On Monday 4 November 2013 we will bid farewell to our beloved son Georgios Foundoulis with the funeral taking place at the St Georgios Church in [Athens suburb] Paleo Irakleio at 3pm. The parents wish all his friends to be present not as Golden Dawn followers, but as friends who want to honour their friend. We do not want BLOOD – the street is soaked with our child’s blood – nor do we want HONOUR, since we know our child’s integrity and honesty. [Translator’s note: ‘Blood and Honour’, originally an SS slogan, is the long-standing motto of Golden Dawn.]
The family wishes that NO POLITICIANS FROM ANY PARTY WHATSOEVER attend. The family advises against sending wreaths or flowers, instead wishers who would have spent their money for flowers or a wreath are encouraged to donate it to the ‘Sikiarideio’ Foundation, where Georgios’s loved sister Irene is a student.”
By Maria Psarra & Lefteris Bindelas
Translated article from ‘To Ethnos’ newspaper, 4 November 2011