Singer's killing spurs violence in Greece

One person, owing allegiance to far-right Golden Dawn party, arrested in connection with anti-fascist activist's murder.

    Violent clashes have broken out in several Greek cities after a member of the country's far-right Golden Dawn party was arrested over the fatal stabbing of a 34-year-old musician described as an anti-fascist activist.

    Pavlos Fyssas, whose stage name was Killah P, died in a state hospital on Wednesday morning after being stabbed outside a cafe in the Keratsini area west of Athens.

    He suffered two stab wounds to the chest, authorities said.

    A 45-year-old man arrested at the scene admitted to attacking Fyssas, a hip-hop singer whose friends said he was an anti-fascist activist, and belonging to Golden Dawn, police said.

    A knife with traces of blood was found near his car.

    Clashes broke out Wednesday evening between riot police and protesters holding an anti-fascist demonstration in Fyssas' memory in Keratsini and in the northern city of Thessaloniki.

    Al Jazeera's John Psaropoulos, reporting from Athens, said: "At the moment the clashes are ongoing. Several hundred people are there and it is very difficult to get the headcount of protesters.

    "The anarchists who are facing off the police are essentially fighting guerrilla warfare in a narrow set of streets. The police is responding with tear gas and stun grenades. All this is symptomatic of the increasing tension in society right now."

    Strong action urged

    Evangelos Venizelos, deputy prime minister, said Golden Dawn had "surpassed every limit".

    His Socialist party is part of the coalition government.

    "Golden Dawn has violence as its priority and must be dealt with as a criminal organisation," he said.

    Hannes Swoboda, president of the Socialists and Democrats Group in the European Parliament, also called for strong action against the group.

    The suspect, who was not named in accordance with Greek law, was appeared before a prosecutor later on Wednesday.

    Golden Dawn has violence as its priority and must be dealt with as a criminal organization

    Evangelos Venizelos, Deputy Prime Minister, Greece

    Golden Dawn, whose senior members have expressed admiration for Adolf Hitler although they deny being a neo-Nazi group, won nearly seven percent of the vote in general elections last year.

    Recent opinion polls show its support has since risen to around 12 percent.

    Party members and supporters have been blamed for beatings and stabbings across the country usually of dark-skinned migrants.

    In January, two men identified as party sympathisers were arrested for the fatal stabbing of a Pakistani migrant worker.

    Michalis Avranitis, Golden Dawn politician, said the victim and the suspect had initially argued about a soccer match.

    "Yes, this man, as it turns out, has declared himself to be a member of Golden Dawn. But Golden Dawn has one million supporters," Avranitis said in parliament.

    "If, in a restaurant, two drunken idiots have a fight and someone is stabbed, should we look at their ideology and blame that?"

    The stabbing drew condemnation from across Greece's political spectrum and from abroad.

    While the Golden Dawn has been blamed for numerous violent attacks in the past, the overnight stabbing is the most serious violence directly attributed to a member so far.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera and agencies


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