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Home / Opinion / Editor / Op-ed on Pavlos Fyssas murder: dangerous political game that backfired and got out of control

Op-ed on Pavlos Fyssas murder: dangerous political game that backfired and got out of control

Αll signs show that it was a cold-blooded murder. Eye witnesses speak of a car that drove the one-way street the opposite direction, that assailant came out of the car and stabbed the victim twice. 34-year-old anti-fascist and rapper Pavlos Fyssas died short after the stabbing in the hospital. 45-year-old Giorgos Roupakias was captured by the police short after. Police found the knife nearby. It was thrown away. Fyssas’ blood was still on it.

Doctors of the hospital where Fyssas was taken have apparently said that “there was obvious attempt to turn the knife inside the wound.” Doctors spoke of a “professional stabbing”, Greek media report.

Controversial are the testimonies concerning the role of the police: some eye witnesses claim the murder happened with the police standing nearby, the police say that the motorcycled units arrived at the crime scene just a minute and a half after the stabbing.

The majority of details of the heinous murder in Keratsini being currently reported by the Greek media are based on eye-witnesses testimonies.

Perpetrator and victim did not know each other. Roupakias was not even present at the cafeteria when a kind of quarrel had allegedly broke between a group of Golden Dawn supporters and Fyssas and his friends.

Conclusion is close that Roupakias was called in to the scene, to support his ideological fellows.

Roupakias confessed the crime. Furthermore, he allegedly admitted he was a member of extreme-right Golden Dawn and that he was visiting the local GD office in Nikaia suburb of Piraeus five to six times a week.

During a home search police found a taser, a glob and print material of the neo-nazi party.

When Greek media started to report on Wednesday morning about the link between the stabber and the extreme-right, Golden Dawn became furious. Its media representative Ilias Kassidiaris condemned the attack, dismissed any claim that the party had any connection to the murder and spoke of “miserable sycophants”.


Keratsini: People lay a flower, a note, a candle where Fyssas was murdered

Greek government alarmed

But Minister for Public Order and Citizen Protection Nikos Dendias, defied GD protests and ordered police units to raid several offices of Golden Dawn – the headquarters incl – in the broader Athens area. What the policemen were looking for? “For anything….” a journalist said on a private television channel.

Most probably police was looking for anything that could link Golden Dawn , a party elected to the parliament in June 2012, with illegal and unconstitutional activities.

Coalition government parties Nea Dimocratia and PASOK are alarmed. What it was ‘tolerated’ from the side of the government (Golden Dawn members attacks and stabbing of migrants, attacks against Communist party members, interventions at anniversaries of victims of the German Nazis during the WWII, humiliation and swears against the whole political system and the democratic procedures and thus inside the Parliament) now seems to have gotten out of control.

Just hours after Fyssas’ stabbing, Minister Dendias announced the expanding of the laws on criminal gangs and training of armed groups and called all parties of the so-called “Constitutional Arc” to join forces against the Golden Dawn.

It looks as if it needed the life of a young man for the state to wake up and seek to take some actions against the fascists.

Dangerous political games

When the left opposition (SYRIZA, Communist party) but also government party PASOK were ringing the alarm bells asking measures against the Golden Dawn, Nea Dimocratia was seeking political gains and was heralding the ‘theory of the two poles: the Golden Dawn on the right and SYRIZA on the left’. Samaras’ part would put both parties in the blender and push the button.

Not so long ago, some ND lawmaker had proposed the cooperation of Nea Dimocratia and Golden Dawn. and just last week a prominent journalist of a conservative media outlet had brought back the idea claiming a “cooperation of Nea Dimocratia with a more serious Golden Dawn should not be excluded”. The journalist had certainly not in mind bad jokes circulating from the side of GD. But rather a less provocative, less violent neo-nazi party.

The lawmaker and the journalist were certainly going on touching distance and check the reaction of public opinion in the perspective of a future government coalition between Samaras’ and Michaloliakos’ parties. Together they could get more than 44% in future elections. In every public opinion survey, Golden Dawn comes third in respondents’ preference after Nea Dimocratia and SYRIZA.

“The theory of two poles” in practice was translated into trivializing the extreme-right Golden Dawn and criminalizing left-wing SYRIZA.

Tolerating GD by not openly condemning it

The attacks against migrants were mostly not reported on television, only a violent death could break through the news. Swears of GD lawmakers at the Parliament’s plenary would be omitted from the session minutes. GD charities (food distribution, blood donation) for “Greeks only” would be covered with a displayed ’embarrassment’. But there was never a real discussion in the public agenda.  GD interventions at event to commemorate killing of Greeks by the German Nazis would be condemned only half-hearted. If at all.

Quotations of gym-trained but culture-uneducated GD members were being shown on TV. For the shake of unreflected populism. For the shake of TV rates.

It was mostly absence of criticism and – what it seemed – silent tolerance from the side of mainstream media.

The Golden Dawn had entered the Greek living rooms as a phenomenon indirectly being accepted because it was not clearly and loud condemned.

A dangerous game that now has backfired. By the knife of Roupakias.

I could hardly believe that some high party official picked up the phone and ordered the killing of  X-migrant, the beating of Z-Pakistani or the stabbing of Fyssas.

But agitation- and hate-ideologies can arm the hand of a devoted supporter like Roupakias. Who was bold enough to stab Fyssas in cold blood and thus in front of witnesses. Who most probably also thought that he would go unpunished as many of his ideological fellows who escaped charges because the state was not strict enough, because the police was reluctant.

There is still time to restrict the audacity of thugs – before it’s really too late.

PS Pavlos Fyssas was a rapper, a unionist and member of anti-capitalist ANTARSYA, a part that has occasionally cooperated with SYRIZA.







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  1. Very sad indeed. The field of Greek Rap has so drastically improved as well. It was just yesterday (but 1987) so it seemed and like today, a friend of mine, African-American, from the old American military base used to make fun of the Greek-Rappers, back then just starting out to learn Rap, and attempt to imitate (poorly) American rappers. Greek rappers were very backwards and lacking style like the American rap artists he used to say.

    But, just recently, that same African-American friend, now in his 60s, told me he was so impressed and proud that Greek rappers have found their way and have carved out a niche, albeit still not as proficient as American rap artists, but definitely improved.

    God Rest his soul, Killah P….A Greek Rap Artist………

  2. Hey KTG. I know you are too spineless to post my comments but I have a question for you.
    Why do you hate Greece so much and will spineless people like you ALWAYS blame GD for every crime committed in Greece?

    • spineless are your hateful commentswhich you’re not seriously expect me to publish.
      BTW: Unfortunately for you, the murderer was a GD member according to hi sown confession and his wife was workin gat the locla GD office.

    • Dear John S, please go and concentrate on your own ‘John’ country, wherever that may be, and leave Greece alone. Greece needs you, and people like you, like it needs the plague.

  3. Spot on. These domestic terrorists were largely ignored while they beat and killed foreigners and the common people. It took the sensational murder of a celebrity rap artist to get the Greeks to finallyyyy WAKE UP! And CARE.
    We reap what we sow.

  4. thanks Manos Ig for the correction. It’s the heat of the writing and the time pressure lol

  5. Excellent op-ed.
    We could also ask – who is funding Chrysi Avgi?

    • thanks. so far the only thing that came out is that the murderer getting money from GD to do some works. when the gov’t gives the green light to ‘demolish’ GD we will know who is funding.

    • thanks.
      so far the only thing that came out is that the murderer was getting money from GD to do some works. when the gov’t gives the green light to ‘demolish’ GD we will know who is funding.

    • A lot of diaspora from the US is financially supporting GD whether out of sympathy or a false sense of patriotism trying to help their fellow country men.
      The same could be said for the far left political parties as they are also receiving funds from the US and EU countries.

      Before Christmas I has an order from a Mr. XXX of Greece. The order was for 1500 gas masks with NBC filters & 600 NIJ IV bullet proof vests. The destination was Greece I refused to sell, and could not have even if I wanted to as Mr. XXX was a private person with no import license for such items.

      Sad times for Greece.

      This goes to show that