Immediately after the murder of hip-hop artist and anti-fascist activist, Pavlos Fissas, by Giorgos Roupakias, a confessed member of the Golden Dawn party, described as neo-nazis political party, in Greece, the United States Department Deputy Spokeswoman, Maria Harf, expressed sincere condolences to the family of the victim and stated that the State Department has been informed of the slaying.
Meanwhile, the Greek Government has abandoned the attempt to ban the Golden Dawn party, which has been gaining support since the economic collapse of Greece. The Government has determined that a ban is unconstitutional. Instead, Greece’s anti-terrorism division has taken over investigation of the murder with plans to try and designate the ultra-nationalist party as a criminal gang. If this is done, over 30 criminal cases involving members of the Golden Dawn party could face felony charges instead of misdemeanors. Government officials have categorized the Golden Dawn party as “out-of-control” since many of its members have avoided arrest and prosecution.
With protests throughout cities in Greece, other Greek political parties were quick to denounce Golden Dawn. Immediately after Roupakias’ arrest, the police also raided Golden Dawn’s headquarters. Some political commentators have expressed their view that the Golden Dawn’s leadership may have lost control of its members.