SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras on Wednesday declined to comment on the release from custody of three Golden Dawn deputies who were among a group of the extreme right-wing party’s MPs and members arrested last week.
Speaking to media during a press conference held at the European Parliament in Brussels on Wednesday, Tsipras said he had just been informed of developments in Athens where Golden Dawn lawmakers Ilias Kasidiaris, Ilias Panayiotaros and Nikos Michos were released following their depositions before two investigative magistrates and two prosecutors. A fourth Golden Dawn MP, Yannis Lagos, was remanded in custody.
Tsipras noted that for SYRIZA it was clear that besides being a fascist party Golden Dawn was also “a criminal organization.” He added that several SYRIZA members and supporters had been victims of attacks by the ultranationalist party in the past. He also stated that he trusted the country’s judicial system to act independently in the case against Golden Dawn.
Making comparisons between the current situation in Greece and the Weimar Republic, Tsipras noted that the root causes in the rise of fascism in both cases was a “barbaric economic policy.”
While renewing his plea for a “moratorium” with regard to the repayment of Greece’s debt, Tsipras also called for a European summit focusing on the country’s debt as well as the need for more investment through the aid of the European Investment Bank.
While not ruling out the possibility of a general election before the completion of the coalition government’s four-year mandate during Greece’s six-month European Union presidency which begins in January, 2014, Tsipras noted that the upcoming European Parliament elections would send out a “strong message for a change of policy in Europe.”