One of those arrested appears to be a Piraeus based lawyer, who was also described as a founding member of DIESY (the Hellenic Conservative Network), a right wing advocacy group. The only person that appears to fit that description also appears to be a former member of the National Council of “New Right”, a party founded by well known lawyer and op-ed columnist Failos Kranidiotis, who was in the past a member of the Political Committee of New Democracy.
By Augustine Zenakos
A series of arrests, yesterday, announced by the Greek police, points to two extreme right organisations: “Combat 18 Hellas”, the Greek charter of an international extreme right group, and “Independent Meandrian Nationalists”. The police conducted twelve searches in private residences, and confiscated material that included fifty kilograms of nitrous ammonia, butane canisters, petrol bombs, knives, clubs, hunting weapons, flags and other objects bearing extreme right imagery. The two organisations are implicated, according to the police, in a number of attacks, mostly against anarchist squats and meeting spaces. Seven persons in total are expected to be led to the prosecuting authorities today.
The names of those arrested have not yet been made public. However, one of them who appears to be a Piraeus based lawyer was also described as a founding member and former vice-chairman of DIESY (the Hellenic Conservative Network), a right wing advocacy group. Mention of the name has been removed from the group’s website, however articles that he has published and are still available online credit him as a founding member.
The only person that appears to fit that description also appears to be a former member of the National Council of “Nea Dexia”, meaning “New Right”, a party founded by well known lawyer and op-ed columnist Failos Kranidiotis. The name in question does not appear in the “New Right” website either, but can be traced through a web archiving service.
“Nea Dexia” is a fringe party, with minimal public support to date. But if it is confirmed that a former National Council member of “New Right” was arrested for extreme right wing terrorism, this raises questions about what sort of relationship the extreme right has with legitimate right wing parties. Mr Kranidiotis, before founding “New Right”, was a member of New Democracy, currently the main opposition in Greece. He was also a member of the Political Committee of the party, and a close personal friend of former Prime Minister Antonis Samaras.
Neither Mr Kranidiotis nor the official “New Right” twitter account immediately replied to a request for comment.
UPDATE: On March 8th, “New Right” issued a statement in which it confirms that the person in question, who was charged by the prosecuting authorities with a number of offences, including participation in a criminal organisation, did serve as a member in its National Council. “New Right”, however, insists that he has not been in that position for almost a year and a half, having resigned after he was requested to do so by the party’s chairman, Mr Kranidiotis. You can read the full statement (in Greek) here.
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