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A not-so-innocent New Year’s celebration

A not-so-innocent New Year’s celebration

Disclaimer: The quotes in this text have been indicatively translated to English by Disinfaux Collective and do not represent a direct quotation by the individual referenced. All Greek direct quotes can be found in the original version, available here.

 

A door cracked-open during the Patriotic Hellenic Association’s (“Hellinokratein”) New Year’s celebration was a stark reminder that those who passed through the Golden Dawn carry a historical political association, ties that they have not forgotten as they went on to build or find refuge in other political groups. Whilst Golden Dawn may have been convicted as a criminal organization, its institutional disintegration seems to have fueled new far-right, conservative and nationalist groups throughout Greece, who don’t hide the fact that they miss “being in front of a patient1“.

 

Interesting facts emerge from a seemingly “innocent” traditional New Year’s celebration by the Patriotic Hellenic Association “Hellinokratein” in Larissa (Greece); facts which go beyond statements such as the “divine sign to drop the lucky coin (flouri2) in the piece for St. Paraskevi”, while the following photos show that absolutely no safety measures against Covid-19 were taken.

 

“In an enthusiastic atmosphere with joyful and optimistic faces, without fear or gags, and despite the slavery imposed by the new order of things in our Greece through the satanic government of the New Democracy and the excommunicated Koulis, members and friends of the Patriotic Hellenic Association “Hellinokratein” gathered together in the cutting of vasilopita3, which took place at a cultural centre in Larissa, where the worthy nuns Arsenia and Christonymfi of the Holy Monastery of St. Paraskevi of the Christian Almanac, who hold the flag of Orthodoxy high, as well as the monk Alexander from Russia were present”, mentions the Association in a social media post.

 

It is noteworthy that the former Golden Dawn member, Asterios Hamos, also attended the event. Hamos is also the president of the Patriotic Hellenic Association “Hellinokratein” and well-known for his previous attendance at Golden Dawn “fiestas” in Meligalas4. In 2009 he was also a parliamentary candidate of the Golden Dawn. In his greeting, he wished a “Happy New Year and Happy Freedom towards the riddance of traitorous politicians, infectious disease specialists, trashy journalists, gags, “vaccines” and anything related”, while he also took photos with monks and nuns.

 

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The Patriotic Hellenic Association “Hellinokratein” has many times referred to a “new order of things”, commemorating the “anniversary of the death of Ioannis Metaxas”, while it also seems to have close ties with the local ecclesiastical authorities. Their posts on social media often comment about “communists, leftists, pseudo-anarchists and illegal immigrants.” In regards to the latter, they are in favour of the Army “protecting” the borders from “illegal immigrants”.

 

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The love for the junta and the dark times

In one of their posts, they recognize Ioannis Kapodistrias, Ioannis Metaxas and Georgios Papadopoulos as their leaders, while reproducing fake news and conspiracy theories:

“The majority of the Greek people recall the three great Leaders: IOANNIS KAPODISTRIAS, IOANNIS METAXAS and GEORGE PAPADOPOULOS, who contributed to the rebirth of Greece nationally, morally and economically; and wish for a similar Leader, who will pull us out of the quagmire into which we have fallen. But the three great Leaders we mentioned above, stood against the satanic new order of things and were exterminated. Ioannis Kapodistrias and Ioannis Metaxas were assassinated by order of the British and Georgios Papadopoulos was imprisoned by orders of the Americans and the Zionists.”

In 2017, on the day of April 21st5 the Association held an event for the “ethnosavior revolution”. The following slogans were heard in the event: “HELLAS OF GREEK CHRISTIANS, PAPADOPOULOS – PAPADOPOULOS and GLORY AND HONOR TO NIKOS DERTILIS”. Members of the Association organize events in support of the junta up to this day. Their “polemical” announcements are characterized by pseudo-scientific statements regarding the pandemic. In reference to the measures imposed by the New Democracy government for the operation of churches before Christmas they talk about the need for “religious freedom”.

Back in 2020, in a social media post, they made their political stance clear using the title “Greek Christian Orthodox Patriots-Nationalists”.

“For those nationalists who are ignorant of history, who casually rush onto ridiculing us by calling us “Christianoulides6”, we clarify that we are not bothered nor feel devalued, but on the contrary, our faith in the Orthodox Church is something to boast about. Greece without Christ = salt flat without salt. Of course, in parallel goes the “help me, Saint George!”, “Do something with your hands too!”. Fatalism and inaction are the only things that do not suit the Greek Christian Orthodox Patriots-Nationalists. We are children of Martyrs and Heroes, who sealed with their struggles the unquenchable desire for Freedom, to death”.

The Association seems to maintain ties with movements for the Macedonia naming dispute (“Makedoniko”), while holding in high regard the Katsifas case (they organized a memorial service in Kakavia in 2019). Back in 2011, a video captured members of the movement marching in the city of Komotini on the occasion of the anniversary of the Conquest of Istanbul (Fall of Constantinople). Nationalist groups such as the Association have often marched to commemorate Pontic genocide in Greek cities, such as Florina and Thessaloniki. Evidence dating back to 2011 and continuing to this day, shows the Association repeatedly protesting at the Evzoni border station. 

 

The Golden Dawn, Meligalas, and “Hellinokratein”

On September 15, 2013, a few days before the assassination of Pavlos Fyssas in Keratsini, hundreds of members of the criminal organization organized an akin to military march event in Meligalas. As they went on to insult the other political parties and provoke representatives of the local self-government, they turned the memorial for the victims of Pigada Meligalas into a celebration of hatred. Asterios Hamos, another individual who stood as an independent candidate with the support of Golden Dawn in Larissa in 2009, and president of the nationalist organization, Patriotic Hellenic Association “Hellinokratein”, also attended.

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(Right) Asterios Hamos in Meligalas

An article in “Kathimerini” spoke about the rocky relationship between Hamos and the leadership of Golden Dawn back in 2013, which arose from the President’s attempt to invite Antonis Androutsopoulos, also known as Periandros, to speak in Larissa. According to media reports, his presence in Meligalas resulted in MPs Giorgos Germenis and Giannis Lagos beating him under the watchful eye of other members of the parliamentary group.

 

In a telephone conversation with Sotiris Develekos, Giorgos Tsakanikas describes the incident in detail, calling Germenis by the pseudonym “Kaiadas”. “I enjoyed Kaiadas very much, my friend”, says Tsakanikas and continues: “Kaiadas beat him to near death. Lagos also threw two punches at him, but you know Lagos, I think he disregards beating someone under these circumstances. He came down on him, came down on him, he threw a couple at him. Kaiadas had just laid him down with the punches and was pushing his head down. And like this, TAP-TAP-TAP-TAP “. “He did well, because he is a rat,” Develekos replies. “And well done to him, Kaiadas can recall the old days. You know… ” adds Tsakanikas. In the same conversation, Tsakanikas says that the other deputies “did not speak at all amidst this chaos” and that Ilias Kasidiaris ” died laughing with the whole situation”. Shortly afterwards, Hamos posted photos during his treatment at the hospital of Kalamata and wrote on the blog of the Patriotic Hellenic Association that he had filed a lawsuit against Germenis and Lagos.

 

Germenis was also questioned about this incident in the Trial of Golden Dawn:

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Before the incident, Hamos appears to have been particularly active with the Golden Dawn with speeches on behalf of the criminal organization in Thessaloniki. In fact, he was accused of incidents at a Golden Dawn rally in Larissa. According to the then indictment on April 18, 2010, he used, together with other Golden Dawn members, pit bull dogs against police officers, which were most likely intended for the anti-fascist rally that took place in the same place.

 

The platform to Periandros… two years later

Although Hamos’ first invitation to Periandros was ignored, the event took place two years later, in 2015. Then, the former deputy leader of Golden Dawn participating as a speaker at the event of the far-right Patriotic Hellenic Association, spoke about the omnipotent leader of the Nazi organization, Nikos Michaloliakos, as the one who gives the order for the criminal actions.

It is noteworthy that the president of Patriotic Hellenic Association has invited several speakers to Larissa, such as Savvas Hadjiparaskevas, publisher of “Stohos”, Costas Plevris, Stavros Lalas (former US employee at the Athens embassy), ​​Petropoulos Andreas (former leader of the ELEK party), but also many members or candidates of the Golden Dawn and other types of patriotic groups throughout the Greek territory.

 

Apart from the greetings and appearances at various events, the far-right network seems expanded. Specifically, in 2017, with the consent of both the prosecutor and the president of the Single Member Misdemeanor Court of Komotini, the president of the Patriotic Greek Association Asterios Hamos was acquitted of the charge of “spreading false news and fear to residents of the area.” The case concerned announcements by the Association, in 2015, in front of the Turkish consulate in Komotini, but also in the whole city. The aim behind spreading false information on this occasion was the relocation of the Turkish consulate. As a result, a lawsuit was filed by the prosecutor’s office in Komotini. Ilias Iliakopoulos, a lawyer from Alexandroupolis, former member of the Golden Dawn, and a friend of the Association, was the defense attorney of the accused. As shown below, he participated in the events together with Hamos.

 

Demonstration of the Patriotic Hellenic Association in Xanthi against the “selling out and turkish-ization” of Thrace, in December 2017 (left). Ilias Iliakopoulos with Ilias Kasidiaris (right)

Ilias Iliakopoulos was an executive who was placed on the “front line” by Golden Dawn in order to subsequently “put him on ice”. The organization proudly displayed the biography of Iliakopoulos, who was a MEP candidate of Golden Dawn at the European elections in 2014.

 

However, Iliakopoulos left due to his disagreement with Michaloliakos, given that, among other things, he did not want (as a lawyer…) to sign the “statement of complicity” in the criminal organization submitted by the defense of the Golden Dawn leadership to the investigators. His personal post, in 2016, describing his conflict with Michaloliakos and the reasons why he decided to leave the organization:

 

Footnotes

01. Excerpt from the first public conference of Georgios Papadopoulos, the leader of the Greek junta (Regime of the Colonels), a military dictatorship that ruled the country from 1967 to 1974. This quote is used to indicate the hidden sympathy, or even nostalgia, of the Patriotic Hellenic Association for the military junta. 

 

02. The lucky coin (flouri) is hidden inside a traditional, Greek, New Year’s Day cake (vasilopita) and is supposed to bring luck to the recipient.

 

03. Vasilopita is a traditional pie for the New Year’s Day celebration.

 

04. Meligalas is a town in Messenia, Peloponnese, and a Greek historical landmark during World War II. The Battle of Meligalas took place on 13-15 September 1944 between the Greek Resistance forces of the Greek People’s Liberation Army (EAM- ELAS) and the Security Battalions (Greek: Tagmata Asfaleias) who collaborated with the German occupation troops. Due to its history, Meligalas remains a strong example of militant antifascist action for the left, while the far-right presents it as a symbol of “communist barbarity”. 

 

05. April 21st, 1967, marks the beginning of the Greek junta.

 

06. A nickname of the word “Christian”, here used pejoratively. 

 

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