George Roupakias, the accused murder of Pavlos Fyssas who was remanded in custody following his appearance in court Saturday remains at the Police Headquarters and has not been transferred to the Korydallos Prison as scheduled due to vehement opposition to his placement there by other prisoners. Police are investigating other possible prison locations to move him to.
The prosecutor’s office of the Greek Supreme Court has lifted the privacy protections on the cellphones of six (some reports say seven) people, in order to determine who talked with Roupakias prior to the murder of Pavlos Fyssas. Some reports indicate that high-ranking members of Golden Dawn are among those six.
Golden Dawn has dropped 2.5% in polls conducted since the murder of Pavlos Fyssas, while almost 8 out of 10 greeks polled characterize Golden Dawn as a “fascist” or a “criminal” organization.
Two high-ranking police officers have tendered their resignations following an incident in Halkida where several members of Golden Dawn were seen carrying clubs and other such weapons to the local GD offices, a few hundred meters from the local police headquarters without police intervention or the incident being referred up the chain of command. The incident is now under Sworn Administrative Review and the local commanding officers as well as the officer on duty during the incident have been placed on leave pending the results of the investigation. While the high-ranking officers (both are generals) resigned for “personal reasons,” the official announcement by the police also mentions the incident at Halkida, drawing a clear connection between the two. Sweeping changes in the top police leadership are anticipated as a result of these resignations.
Mr. Kouvelis, leader of DIMAR (Democratic Left, until recently a junior partner in the government which left after the government shut-down of ERT, the greek public TV and radio) has called for a “meeting of political leaders” in the offices of the President of the Republic (the President in Greece is elected by the Parliament and has a more ceremonial position than the prime minister) to develop a common position against the “criminal actions” of Golden Dawn. Mr. Kouvelis has also called for the passage of a new, stronger anti-racist law.
Significant strikes are under way, with university professors, municipal workers and workers in the social security agencies striking today and tomorrow, and public employees striking Tuesday and Wednesday. The Federation of Private Sector Workers is meeting today to vote on joining the strike tomorrow, which means that Tuesday would effectively be a general strike. These strikes are timed to coincide with the new round of negotiations between the greek government and the troika, which are starting this week.
Greek news media have also been covering the german elections, where Merkel’s Christian Democrats won a resounding victory, but most likely not enough to not need to build a coalition government, while the FDP, Merkel’s junior coalition partner in the current government failed to get enough votes to enter parliament, raising a lot of speculation as to what a Christian Democrat and Social Democrat coalition might look like (the SPD came second, far behind Merkel’s CDU). News of Merkel’s victory, while anticipated, were met with criticism and disappointment in much of the greek media, with one newspaper (Ta Nea) having a picture of Merkel in a throne and the headline “Triumph for the Queen of Austerity.” The fear is that Merkel’s victory will allow her to continue to push for harsh austerity measures in Greece.