Prime Minister Antonis Samaras lashed out against leftist SYRIZA on Friday during a speech to members of the executive secretariat of his conservative New Democracy, accusing the opposition party of making a distinction between «good and bad violence» and noting that illegal acts have not only been carried out by members of Golden Dawn.
“Criminal violence was not only exerted in Perama but also in the arson attack at Marfin,» Samaras said referring to a violent attack on Communist Party supporters by supporters of Golden Dawn last month and to the firebombing of a branch of Marfin Bank in central Athens in the spring of 2010 when Greece signed its first loan agreement with international creditors. «Shouldn’t those responsible for Marfin be punished?» Samaras said, referring to the arsonists who the government has insistently tried to connect to the far-left.
“It is the duty of all to condemn all criminal acts and not to rush to murderers’ trials to offer defense testimony,» Samaras added in a dig at leftist witnesses who appeared at the Marfin trial.
In a clear dig at SYRIZA’s objection to the government’s proposed amendment for the suspension of state funding to parties like Golden Dawn whose leader or MPs are charged with felonies, Samaras said responsible political parties should seek to uphold the law and institutions «without footnotes, double talk and reservations.”
SYRIZA has proposed its own alternative amendment proposing that funding should be cut off to a party when its leader or MPs are convicted of membership of a criminal gang and that even then such a ban must first be passed in the 300-seat Parliament with an «enhanced» 180-seat majority.
As for Golden Dawn, Samaras said the party was «dangerous for democracy» as it had gone beyond threats and had created hit squads and had killed people. «We have to finish with them,» he said, adding that authorities must annihilate the root causes that created the party.