The American Hellenic Educational Progressive Association (AHEPA), a leading grassroots membership-based association for the nation’s millions of Greek Americans and Philhellenes, hails the arrests of Greece’s neo-Nazi Golden Dawn Party members, including its leader, Nikolaos Michaloliakos, by the Greek government on Sunday, announced Supreme President Anthony Kouzounis.
According to an Associated Press report published in the New York Times, the Golden Dawn members “were formally charged Saturday with membership in a criminal organization with intent to commit crimes …” In addition to Michaloliakos, the party’s spokesperson and several of its members of Parliament have been arrested.
“We praise the Greek government for taking bold measures to bring the leaders of Golden Dawn to account for their actions and to safeguard Greece’s democracy,” Supreme President Anthony Kouzounis said. “The party’s extremist principles and paramilitary-like tactics perpetrated upon any individuals of a free, democratic society are alarming and are a true threat to Greece’s democracy.”
The September 18, 2013 murder of Greek Rapper Pavlos Fyssas by an alleged suspect with ties to Golden Dawn hastened the government’s investigation into the group, which Minister of Public Order and Citizen Protection Nikos Dendias compared to German SS squads.