News / Europe

Thousands March in Greece Over Rapper Killing

A protester holds a banner during an anti-fascist rally in Athens, Sept. 25, 2013.
A protester holds a banner during an anti-fascist rally in Athens, Sept. 25, 2013.
Thousands of Greeks marched towards the headquarters of the Golden Dawn party in Athens on Wednesday in the biggest show of public anger at the fatal stabbing of an anti-racism rapper by a supporter of the far-right group.

Golden Dawn is Greece's third most popular party and the most visible symptom of discontent over state corruption and a deep economic crisis that has fueled hostility to immigrants. But polls since the killing of rapper Pavlos Fissas indicate the party has lost about a third of its public support.

Wednesday's rallies by university students, labor unions and leftists in Athens and the second biggest city Thessaloniki have overshadowed a 48-hour public sector strike over layoffs demanded by Greece's international lenders.

More than 10,000 people, some holding banners reading "Never Again Fascism" and singing anti-fascism anthems, marched outside parliament in the central Syntagma square, where hip-hop groups held a memorial concert earlier on Wednesday.

The protest column then headed for Golden Dawn's headquarters some 5 km (three miles) from central Athens.

The killing of 34-year-old Pavlos Fissas has fired outrage across the political spectrum against a party that is widely regarded as neo-Nazi and whose popularity has so far appeared immune to accusations of brutality and violence.

Golden Dawn rejects the neo-Nazi label and any involvement in the attack, saying it is the target of a witch-hunt after the government began efforts to crack down on the party and its alleged influence over the Greek police force.

Top-selling daily Ta Nea depicted a swastika in a red circle with a line running through it.

"No to fascism"

"The crisis brought us to our knees but we need to say a loud "no" to fascism like we did in '74," said Vangelis Georgountzos, 59, referring to the student uprising that led to the overthrow of Greece's then-ruling military junta.

Standing in the crowd that flooded the street in front of parliament alongside his teenage daughter, Georgountzos said: "First it was the immigrants, then Fissas, tomorrow it could be your son or daughter - everyone needs to understand this."

Earlier in the day, mourners laid flowers and candles at the spot in the working-class neighborhood of Keratsini where Fissas, who performed anti-racism raps under the stage name Killah P, was knifed.

"Murderers!" declared a banner above the makeshift shrine.

An ALCO survey for the website, conducted in the days after the stabbing, found that public support for Golden Dawn was down by 4 percentage points to 6.8 percent.

"Golden Dawn voters haven't changed their minds, they're simply not saying who they'll vote for because of the current climate of terror," the party responded in a statement.
The party says petrol bombers have attacked its offices in recent days and that assailants smashed the window of an animal food shop in central Greece belonging to one of its lawmakers.

Fissas's killing has led to an investigation into the party for evidence linking it to the attack and dozens more criminal offenses. It has also prompted an unprecedented shake-up of Greek police following reports that Golden Dawn party cells were operating within the force.

A senior court official told reporters on Wednesday that prosecutors probing Golden Dawn had found evidence that could help them establish whether it is a criminal organization.

Citing fingerprint and photographic evidence, the official - who spoke on condition of anonymity - said that at least one person linked with the party has taken part in two separate gang attacks against political opponents and immigrants.

You May Like

Video Americans, Tourists, Reflect on Meaning of Thanksgiving

VOA garnered opinions from several people soon after November 13 Paris attacks, which colored many of their thoughts

Video Thais Send Security Concerns Down the River

In northern Thailand, the annual tradition of constructing floating baskets to carry away the year’s bad spirits highlights the Loy Krathong festival

Video Tree Houses - A Branch of American Dream

Workshops aimed at teaching people how to build tree houses have become widely popular in America in recent years

This forum has been closed.
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Islamic State Unfazed by Losses in Iraq, Syriai
November 26, 2015 5:21 AM
Progress in the U.S.-led effort to beat Islamic State on its home turf in Iraq and Syria has led some to speculate the terror group may be growing desperate. But counterterror officials say that is not the case, and warn the recent spate of terror attacks is merely part of the group’s evolution. VOA National Security correspondent Jeff Seldin has more.

Video Islamic State Unfazed by Losses in Iraq, Syria

Progress in the U.S.-led effort to beat Islamic State on its home turf in Iraq and Syria has led some to speculate the terror group may be growing desperate. But counterterror officials say that is not the case, and warn the recent spate of terror attacks is merely part of the group’s evolution. VOA National Security correspondent Jeff Seldin has more.

Video Taiwan Looks for Role in South China Sea Dispute

The Taiwanese government is one of several that claims territory in the hotly contested South China Sea, but Taipei has long been sidelined in the dispute, overshadowed by China. Now, as the Philippines challenges Beijing’s claims in an international court at The Hague, Taipei is looking to publicly assert its claims. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.

Video Syrian Refugees in US Express Concern for Those Left Behind

Syrian immigrants in the United States are concerned about the negative tide of public opinion and the politicians who want to block a U.S. plan to accept 10,000 Syrian refugees. Zlatica Hoke reports many Americans are fighting to dispel suspicions linking refugees to terrorists.

Video After Paris Attacks, France Steps Up Fight Against IS

The November 13 Paris attacks have drawn increased attention to Syria, where many of the suspected perpetrators are said to have received training. French President Francois Hollande is working to build a broad international coalition to defeat Islamic State in Syria and in Iraq. Zlatica Hoke reports.

Video US, Cambodian Navies Pair Up in Gulf of Thailand

The U.S. Navy has deployed one of its newest and most advanced ships to Cambodia to conduct joint training drills in the Gulf of Thailand. Riding hull-to-hull with Cambodian ships, the seamen of the USS Fort Worth are executing joint-training drills that will help build relations in Southeast Asia. David Boyle reports for VOA from Preah Sihanouk province.

Video Americans Sharpen Focus on Terrorism

Washington will be quieter than usual this week due to the Thanksgiving holiday, even as Americans across the nation register heightened concerns over possible terrorist threats. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports new polling data from ABC News and the Washington Post newspaper show an electorate increasingly focused on security issues after the deadly Islamic State attacks in Paris.

Video World Leaders Head to Paris for Climate Deal

Heads of state from nearly 80 countries are heading to Paris (November 30-December 11) to craft a global climate change agreement. The new accord will replace the Kyoto Protocol on Climate Change that expired in 2012.

Video Uncertain Future for Syrian Refugee Resettlement in Illinois

For the trickle of Syrian refugees finding new homes in the Midwest city of Chicago, the call to end resettlement in many U.S. states is adding another dimension to their long journey fleeing war. Organizations working to help them integrate say the backlash since the Paris attacks is both harming and helping their efforts to provide refugees sanctuary. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.

Video Creating Physical Virtual Reality With Tiny Drones

As many computer gamers know, virtual reality is a three-dimensional picture, projected inside special googles. It can fool your brain into thinking the computer world is the real world. But If you try to touch it, it’s not there. Now Canadian researchers say it may be possible to create a physical virtual reality using tiny drones. VOA’s George Putic reports.

Video New American Indian Village Takes Visitors Back in Time

There is precious little opportunity to experience what life was like in the United States before its colonization by European settlers. Now, an American Indian village built in a park outside Washington is taking visitors back in time to experience the way of life of America's indigenous people. Carol Pearson narrates this report from VOA's June Soh.

Video Even With Hometown Liberated, Yazidi Refugees Fear Return

While the northern Iraqi town of Sinjar has been liberated from Islamic State forces, it's not clear whether Yazidi residents who fled the militants will now return home. VOA’s Mahmut Bozarslan talked with Yazidis, a religious and ethnic minority, at a Turkish refugee camp in Diyarbakır. Robert Raffaele narrates his report.

Video Nairobi Tailors Make Pope Francis’ Vestments

To ensure the pope is properly attired during his visit, the Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops asked the Dolly Craft Sewing Project in the Nairobi slum of Kangemi to make the pope's vestments, the garments he will wear during the various ceremonies. Jill Craig reports.

Video Cross-Border Terrorism Puts Europe’s Passport-Free Travel in Doubt

The fallout from the Islamic State terror attacks in Paris has put the future of Europe’s passport-free travel area, known as the "Schengen Zone," in doubt. Several of the perpetrators were known to intelligence agencies, but were not intercepted. Henry Ridgwell reports from London European ministers are to hold an emergency meeting Friday in Brussels to look at ways of improving security.

Video El Niño Brings Unexpected Fish From Mexico to California

Fish in an unexpected spectrum of sizes, shapes and colors are moving north, through El Niño's warm currents from Mexican waters to the Pacific Ocean off California’s coast. El Nino is the periodic warming of the eastern and central Pacific Ocean. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, this phenomenon thrills scientists and gives anglers the chance of a once-in-a-lifetime big catch. Faith Lapidus narrates.

Video Terrorism in Many Forms Continues to Plague Africa

While the world's attention is on Paris in the wake of Friday night's deadly attacks, terrorism from various sides remains a looming threat in many African countries. Nigerian cities have been targeted this week by attacks many believe were staged by the violent Islamist group Boko Haram. In addition, residents in many regions are forced to flee their homes as they are terrorized by armed militias. Zlatica Hoke reports.

Video Study: Underage Marriage Rate Higher for Females in Pakistan

While attitudes about the societal role of females in Pakistan are evolving, research by child advocacy group Plan International suggests that underage marriage of girls remains a particularly big issue in the country. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports how such marriages leads to further social problems.

VOA Blogs