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Golden Dawn sets up surrogate party

Fearing a ban, neonazis prepare rebranding to fight elections

Golden Dawn figures registered a surrogate organisation, called National Dawn (Ethniki Avgi), as a political party at the Areios Pagos, the country's supreme court, late last month

Golden Dawn or National Dawn? Supporters of the neonazi parties shout slogans at the Imia rally (Photo: Reuters) Golden Dawn or National Dawn? Supporters of the neonazi parties shout slogans at the Imia rally (Photo: Reuters) Golden Dawn, whose leader, deputy leader and four other MPs are in prison on remand pending trial on charges of forming a criminal organisation, has said it has another party ready to take its place should it be banned from running in May's European Parliament and local government elections.

The surrogate organisation, called National Dawn (Ethniki Avgi), was registered as a political party at the Areios Pagos, the country's supreme court, late last month.

It made its first public appearance at a rally organised on Saturday to mark the 18th anniversary of the Imia islet crisis with Turkey in which three members of the Greek armed forces were killed when their helicopter crashed.

The replacement entity is headed by retired fire service officer Stavros Krikos, 50, who unsuccessfully ran for parliament with Golden Dawn in 2012 for the central Piraeus constituency.

"National Dawn is ready to express the will of millions of Greek nationalists. Our party was founded by Greek patriots who are opposed to the antipatriotic bailout policies and the illegal political prosecution of those who stand up to people handing the country over to foreign profiteers," Krikos told the Imia rally.

National Dawn leader Stavros Krikos addresses a Golden Dawn rally (Photo: ANA) National Dawn leader Stavros Krikos addresses a Golden Dawn rally (Photo: ANA) "There is another Greece which lives in the same country: The Greece of honour and national dignity ... The crime of the Greek nationalists is to display the love for their country in a meaningful way. That is something that cannot be forgiven by the corrupt regime of the rich few."

According to the one entry on his blog, Krikos joined the fire service in 1987 and resigned 22 years later, in 2009. Krikos was one of 206 backers of the party who signed its founding charter. He was introduced to the Imia rally by Golden Dawn MP Ilias Kasidiaris.

National Dawn's emblem consists of a capital E surrounded by a circular meander design. The meander, an ancient Greek symbol reminiscent of a swastika, is also used by Golden Dawn as its symbol.

Its constitution is similar to that of Golden Dawn, except that the leader is referred to as a president rather than a general secretary. In addition, the new party makes no reference to the position of party cell leader or pyrinarchis, a term that gained notoriety following the murder of Pavlos Fyssas last September. One local pyrinarchis, Yiorgos Patelis, has been charged in relation to the murder.

Also missing is the commitment to organise "Greeks-only soup kitchens".

The surrogate party has not established a presence on the internet or social media, but a spoof Facebook page mocking the new party had over 900 followers on Thursday.  

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Stavros Krikos
Golden Dawn
National Dawn
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