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article imageGolden Dawn MP's arrested, deny involvement in migrant attacks

By Katerina Nikolas     Jun 3, 2012 in World
Athens - Following an attack on a Pakistani man working in a kebab shop in Athens on Friday evening, two newly elected MPs from Golden Dawn were arrested, along with the daughter of party leader Nikos Michaloliakos.
Attacks against migrants are becoming almost daily events in the Greek capital, having escalated since far-right Golden Dawn (Chrysi Avgi) won seven percent of the vote in the May 6 election. Ekathimerini reported Friday night's attack against a Pakistani man, resulting in his hospitalization, resulted in the arrest of six people who participated in a motorcycle raid.
Golden Dawn MPs Ilias Panagiotaros and Ioannis Vouldis were briefly detained along with Michalolikakos's daughter, but were released without any charges.
According to Athens News Golden Dawn released a statement denying their involvement in "an incident involving an attack on some immigrant" saying "We could of course have had nothing to do with the incident, if for no other reason but the simple fact that our party members were nowhere near it. Golden Dawn, like we have said before, denies any involvement with incidents of violence and condemns the police's role in the state mechanism's fight against our party".
The recent attacks on migrants have each shared commonalities with perpetrators wearing motorcycle helmets abusing immigrants. In Greece it is more common for motorcyclists to carry their helmets on their arms rather than wear them.
Three Greeks who stand accused of beating up three Afghan immigrants in Athens a year ago recently had their trial postponed for the sixth time, with a new date set for Sept. 25. One of those due to stand trial is Golden Dawn member Themis Skordeli, who recently failed in her bid to be elected to Parliament.
The Guardian reported the youth-branch of SYRIZA released a statement condemning recent attacks against immigrants. It said "An orgy of violence and murderous attacks is taking place in the streets of Athens … Those who think they will address the immigration issue with knives, swords and minefields along the borders have no place in our neighbourhoods, even less so in parliament."
Ironically, Digital Journal reported "Greek police officials say Syriza encouraged the violent demonstrations that have plagued Athens over the past two years" which left Athens aflame.
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