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Greek police will be rid of 'any racist elements,' Public Order Minister Nikos Dendias tells Amanpour

October 3rd, 2013
02:53 PM ET

By Mick Krever and Annabel Archer, CNN

Greece is determined to rid its police of “any racist elements,” Public Order Minister Nikos Dendias told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour on Thursday.

“We have ordered a full-scale investigation by the internal department of the Greek police,” Dendias said. “Please allow me to say that we are adamant in our target to clean up the Greek police from any racist elements.”

Elements of the Greek police have been widely criticized as not only targeting minority groups, but being complicit with right-wing groups like the Golden Dawn, which has a neo-Nazi following.

Greece has seen a rise in racist attacks, which are up 20% according over last year, according to the head Greece’s National Commission for Human Rights.

But the dire economic situation in Egypt, Dendias said, is no excuse.

“Unemployment does exist. An economic crisis does exist. The Greek people, the Greek society is under considerable stress,” Dendias told Amanpour from Athens. “But that is no excuse, and it will not be accepted as the excuse for the reappearance of a neo-Nazi phenomenon. Neo-Nazism is completely unacceptable.”

Prosecutors are cracking down on Golden Dawn, charging the top leadership with running a criminal organization.

The action is largely seen as a response to last month’s killing on an anti-fascist musician; he was stabbed, allegedly, but a Golden Dawn supporter.

When police raided the house of Golden Dawn’s deputy leader, they found swastikas and Hitler paraphernalia.

Prime Minister Antonis Samaras has said enough is enough.

“This government,” Samaras said, “is determined not to allow the descendants of Nazis to poison our lives, to commit crimes, to terrorize, and to undermine the foundations of the country that gave birth to democracy.”

Nonetheless, Golden Dawn is Greece’s third most-popular party, with 18 seats in parliament.

“What we are just doing is we are asking is for the judiciary to implement the law,” Dendias told Amanpour. “Nothing more, nothing less.”

Following the murder of the artist, Pavlos Fyssas, the Greek government was able to establish a “full chain of command” linking the killing to the Golden Dawn.

“We were able to reveal to the Greek society the true nature of that party,” he said. “I believe that the following of that party will greatly diminish as the truth becomes apparent to the Greek society.”


Filed under:  Christiane Amanpour • Greece • Latest Episode
soundoff (65 Responses)
  1. George

    Bear in mind that this is the same minister that continuously denied any connection of police with golden dawn during the last year (as did his predecessors)
    Also, it is the same minister that threatened to sue The Guardian when they disclosed such allegations as well as torture within police stations.
    The situation up to now is accurately depicted in the Human Rights Watch report of 2012 (he entered office at the time of the publication but has continued the policy of his predecessors with no changes). You can check it out on http://www.hrw.org/reports/2012/07/10/hate-streets-0

    October 4, 2013 at 4:50 am | Reply
    • Adam

      Does the human rights report you show contain the abuses against the native Greek population from crime, unemployment, robbery and assault ? Or is this report only reserved for Non-Greek people ? Dendias refugee centers he speaks of has free food catering, state of the art shelters with heat/air conditioning while the Greek masses will again look for anything to burn in their fireplace to keep warm this winter. I guess their lives come second in their own country. You leftist "politically correct people" disgust me in so many ways.....

      October 4, 2013 at 5:58 am | Reply
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    • Stavropoulos Nick

      A typical Greek leftish not having worked a single day of his life. Classic Greek citizen which only knows how to criticize, be unproductive and moan over and over again.
      Couldn’t agree more Adam. Dendias has been thriving. You on the other side must be just another one of Mr. Tsipras pathetic supporters wishing to be appointed in some non-existing public office with 16 monthly salaries reaching 3-4000 euro.
      Well done George, people like you and your ideologies are the reason for which we turned our beautiful country into this mess

      October 4, 2013 at 6:11 am | Reply
  2. TheGreenMan

    Only internationalist 'red socialist' elements will be permitted to survive under the EU diktat to destoy any opinion that is not in line with communist policies.

    October 4, 2013 at 5:33 am | Reply
  3. Stavropoulos Nick

    The Greek government has been doing tremendous efforts lately. Capturing the Golden Dawn leaders has been a major success climbing mountains of difficulty.

    Journalists should be more cautious on what they. They believe that by making a statement they can minimize months of work. As if they would have done better. Classic journo syndrome.

    For once the party in charge has made significant changes. Support them, don’t mock or underestimate their power and decisions.

    Thank you

    October 4, 2013 at 5:47 am | Reply
    • alex

      You must be joking right? This must be the most useless set of politicians in Greece the last 20 years. This is an accomplishment considering how corrupt and useless previous governments were.

      October 4, 2013 at 6:44 am | Reply
      • Stavropoulos Nick

        What you just said makes no sense Alex. How can they be the worst set of politicians of the last 20 years but accomplished compared to the corrupt previous governments???

        You must be of similar knowledge and background as George commenting above. Get serious.

        Only mr. Papadimos should come back to assist mr. Stournaras (up to the task 100%) in the Ministry of Finance. Apart from that the government has formed a competent team

        October 4, 2013 at 6:53 am |
      • ELIAS

        ALEX UNFORTUNATELY YOU ARE ABSOLUTELY RIGHT. THE CURRENT GOVERMENT'S ONLY CONCERNE IS TO MAINTAIN THEIR POSITION OF CORRUPT POWER & AUTHORITY. MOST OF THE PEOPLE RUNNING THINGS RIGHT NOW ARE THEMSELVES CRIMINALS, AFTER SO MANY YEARS OF CORRUPTED GOVERMENTS EITHER SEEING CLEARLY CRIMES BUT DOING NOTHING OR PARTICIPATING IN CRIMES THEMSELVES. THEY DESTROYED THIS PITIFUL COUNTRY.THERE IS NO FUTURE HERE UNTIL EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THEM IS OUT OF THE WAY OR IN PRISON WHERE THEY BELONG. *PS
        I DON'T SUPPORT ANY POLITICAL PARTY LEFT OR RIGHT AND HAVE NEVER RECEIVED OR WANTED TO RECEIVE NOTHING OF EITHER OF THEM.

        October 4, 2013 at 9:33 am |
  4. Steve

    Spelling mistakes and incorrect references throughout, shoddy reporting.

    October 4, 2013 at 5:53 am | Reply
  5. BadRep

    So badly written I quit half-way through. The sloppy work at CNN center cancels any possible good reporting by your journalists.

    October 4, 2013 at 7:13 am | Reply
    • Drew

      I agree. The poor grammar is very distracting from the message.

      October 4, 2013 at 9:19 pm | Reply
  6. Chris

    "But the dire economic situation in Egypt, Dendias said, is no excuse."

    I agree 1000%... the economic situation in EGYPT is no excuse!!!!

    October 4, 2013 at 9:43 am | Reply
  7. Slavadil

    Ummm.. Egypt??

    October 4, 2013 at 11:26 am | Reply
  8. George Bird

    Indeed, there are a number of human right issues confronting Greece. As someone who has lived in Greece for the past 10 years, but now lives in the USA, there has been a great influx of immigrants into Greece in the past decade or so, and as a result, contributed to a number of issues within Hellas's society – high unemployment among its native population, crime, decrease in skilled labor force, long lines at hospital. For one thing, Greece is a gateway into Europe as a great amount of illegal immigrants wind up staying permanently there. Many people were immigrants at one point. However, logic immigration reform calls for it to be controlled and not chaotic. It becomes chaotic when there is illegal immigration. Last but not least, what about Greek students who are not fed by public schools – elementary, middle and high schools. Don't they deserve to study with a full belly?

    October 4, 2013 at 4:18 pm | Reply
  9. HAIL HITLER

    HITLER WAS RIGHT ALL ALONG! If he succeeded in his endeavors, we wouldn't have Muslims and Hindus raping our women and killing our people!

    October 4, 2013 at 10:25 pm | Reply
    • Freddie Nerk

      You forgot to mention Jews in your rant. They will be offended.

      October 4, 2013 at 10:46 pm | Reply
  10. J.Rey

    The true cancer of Greece are the politicians like Dendias. He and his friends are the true criminals and they are afraid of Golden Dawn, not for because they are extreme right, but because they will totally expose them. So, they played the Nazi card very nicely and put them to jail. It won't work though.

    October 5, 2013 at 3:41 pm | Reply
  11. PlagiaSkepsi

    Dendias is lying and lying BIG. 80% of street crimes in Greece is directly attributed to ILLEGAL or "legal"(ised) ALIENS and GYPSIES (one of the worst problems). 20.000 "immigrants" were arrested in 2012, when Greece's jails are designed for 9.000 persons only. 65% of criminals jailed (and despite continuous "reductions" in penalties- "for life" sentence in Greece only means 17 years nowadays) are Immigrants and together with legal(ised) and gypsies they surpass 80%. Due to the ALBANIAN Mafia and the TURKISH slave dealers we are full of criminals, most of whom escape easily through our extensive borderline. Albania (Europe's most criminal nation and source of drugs and guns according to Europol) even has a law allowing its (criminal) citizens to change full names 5 times!!! The cost of non-Greeks in jails is over 85 millions Euros annually... Moreover, the INVASION of muslim thugs was planned and organised by Turkey as explicitly stated by their leaders (Turgut Ozal, one of their former president even referred to it during a speach in their assembly), years ago, in a plan to destroy Greece! EUROPEANS SHOULD SUPPORT RIGHTEOUSNESS AND ADHERENCE TO INT’L LAWS, AND RALLY THEMSELVES AGAINST WORLD’S WORSE ISLAMIC PREDATOR: TURKEY! http://plagiaskepsi.blogspot.gr/2012/02/actually-greece-can-easily-payback-all.html

    October 5, 2013 at 4:40 pm | Reply
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