Political debate on how to handle Golden Dawn heats up

As a criminal investigation into Golden Dawn MPs and officials continues, the political debate about how the ultra-right party should be handled has intensified, with leftist SYRIZA calling for a broad parliamentary debate on the issue.

SYRIZA MPs on Tuesday discussed Golden Dawn and reportedly agreed all issues – party funding, lawmakers’ salaries etc – should be discussed during a plenary session at the House before the drafting of a multi-bill with all the proposed changes.

The bill should state explicitly that the measures are targeted at Golden Dawn, according to SYRIZA MPs, who oppose the government’s approach of tabling separate bills for suspending party funding and beefing up penalties for racially motivated crimes.

In a speech to SYRIZA MPs, party leader Alexis Tsipras accused the government of seeking to fuel political tensions and of espousing a “theory of extremes” that puts SYRIZA at one end of the spectrum and Golden Dawn at the other.

Tensions between SYRIZA and conservative New Democracy increased on Tuesday after Failos Kranidiotis, a lawyer who is known to be a close aide of Prime Minister Antonis Samaras, wrote on Facebook that he was “saving my ‘bullets’ for the real enemy,” indicating the leftists. Kranidiotis was reacting to criticism for failing to condemn Golden Dawn.

Today, PASOK deputies are also to discuss Golden Dawn at a session of the party’s political council, to be convened by party leader Evangelos Venizelos who returned from an official trip to the US earlier this week.

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