OPINION

The attack on Golden Dawn poses a serious challenge

The attack on Golden Dawn’s offices in the Neo Iraklion district of Athens poses a serious challenge for our society, our state and political system. The danger of instability is great and it will take clear-headedness and meticulous dedication to the law and institutional procedures to keep the situation under control.

It is imperative that the police acts swiftly and effectively so that the murderers are found. The longer that they and their motives remain in the shadows, conspiracy theories will spread and the state will not be able to function as it should in dealing with criminal activity. The longer the criminals remain unknown the already serious issue of the attack will take on an even greater dimension.

All the political parties, the media and society must condemn the attack unequivocally, without any sophistry. The only way to defeat the philosophy of violence, and its supporters on the political system’s extremes, is by society confirming that everyone’s life has the same value.

The attack brings Golden Dawn back into the center of political life, after weeks in which the neo-Nazi organization was adrift and quiet. Now, with its leaders in detention, state funds withheld, its members of Parliament stripped of police protection, it may benefit from a surge in sympathy and solidarity from voters who had moved away from it. The state has to show that the party’s leaders are facing charges stemming from alleged criminal activity, not because of their ideas. It is of the utmost importance that the law is seen to apply to everyone, and that it keeps everyone in line, without exception.

If the state, the police and judicial authorities, our political system and news media do not rise to the occasion, showing seriousness and determination, there is a grave danger of greater division in our politics and society. Furthermore, Golden Dawn will emerge stronger, presenting itself as the victim of injustice and political violence. Then developments will become even more dangerous.