News Release

Greece: Assassination of Hip-Hop Artist and Rise of Neo-Nazi Party

Share is now reporting: “Violent clashes broke out in several Greek cities Wednesday after a 34-year-old musician described as an anti-fascist activist was stabbed to death by a man who said he belonged to the far-right Golden Dawn party.

“The death of Pavlos Fyssas drew condemnation from across Greece’s political spectrum and from abroad. While the extremist Golden Dawn has been blamed for numerous violent attacks in the past, the overnight stabbing is the most serious violence so far directly attributed to a member.

“Golden Dawn leader Nicholas Michaloliakos denied that the party had anything to do with the stabbing.”

COSTAS PANAYOTAKIS, [in NYC] cpanayotakis at
Panayotakis is professor of sociology at the New York City College of Technology of the City University of New York. He said today: “The murder of Greek anti-fascist activist and musician Pavlos Fyssas by a supporter of the neo-Nazi Golden Dawn party is the latest reminder of the threat to Greek democracy that this party, as well as the brutal austerity policies that have fueled its meteoric rise in the last two years, represents. Fyssas’ murder is only the latest attack by Golden Dawn supporters and the party’s para-military groups on left-wing activists as well as immigrants.

“Both the latest and previous Golden Dawn attacks have led to anti-fascist mobilizations, but there is concern about the tolerance that Golden Dawn has been shown up to this point by Greek police and the current government. Having quickly risen from an electoral non-entity to the third most popular party in Greece (with up to 15 percent of Greeks saying they would vote for it in a future election), Golden Dawn has already shaped political debate in Greece, as the conservative party heading the governing coalition has pandered to Golden Dawn’s racist anti-immigrant message in order t stop the flow of many of their supporters towards Golden Dawn and its scapegoating of immigrants for the economic and social catastrophe that has befallen Greece.”

Panayotakis is author of Remaking Scarcity: From Capitalist Inefficiency to Economic Democracy. See his writings on Greece: “Austerity and Agony Worsen in Greece,” and his “Economic Democracy” column at the New York Times Examiner.