Here’s a video that is expected [or should] cause tremors in the Greek political scene. Golden Dawn MP Ilias Kasidiaris leaked this video today where he secretly filmed a discussion with cabinet secretary Takis Baltakos.
During the conversation, Baltakos can he heard saying that there was no evidence to substantiate the crackdown on Golden Dawn following Fyssas’ fatal stabbing by a Golden Dawn supporter last September.
He says that Justice Minister Haralambos Athanassiou and Interior Minister Nikos Dendias appealed to the chief prosecutor at the Supreme Court, Efterpi Goutzamani, a so-called devout Christian, that Golden Dawn were “pagans, idolaters, Nazis and opposed to Christianity”.
Baltakos also said that the crackdown on Golden Dawn was to stop the party drawing support from New Democracy.
Some initial conclusions:
- The Samaras administration has secret channels of communication with Golden Dawn.
- Prime Minister Samaras has appointed the Supreme Court Prosecutor simply because she comes from a nearby village.
- This otherwise independent prosecutor is paying back favors.
- Ministers of the Samaras administration can order arrests by picking up the phone.
- A case can be “put in the archive” with a short 30 minute investigative committee at the parliament.
- There’s no one to turn to if someone wants to file a claim for corruption against the current administration.
This is probably going to create an avalanche of events so stay tuned. By the time I managed to subtitle the video Baltakos has resigned but, in a modern functioning democracy, both Athanasiou and Dendias should resign too. If not Samaras himself too!
As to who is Takis Baltakos, I copy below some facts from EnetEnglish.
Takis Baltakos was appointed by Antonis Samaras to the key political position of government general secretary in June 2012.
He has been identified with the most rightwing section of New Democracy, and is said to have “led opposition” to proposals crackdown on neonazi Golden Dawn.
In December 2012, he told the head of the National Commission for Human Rights, Kostis Papaioannou, that “he doesn’t care, in his capacity as a representative of the government and New Democracy, about the committee’s work and human rights, nor about the country’s international obligations”. Papaioannou was presenting his annual report to the government. He said Baltakos opened it at a chapter on racist violence and threw it on the table, saying, “We are not interested in the human rights of foreigners.”
In 2013, he is alleged to have said that cooperation between New Democracy and Golden Dawn in future elections was “undesirable but not an unlikely possibility”.
In May 2013, it was reported that he was one of the key officials involved in holding up an antiracism bill on the grounds that it could “potentially cause problems”. The bill would have outlawed incitement against people because of their race, religion, ethnicity or sexual orientation, and impose jail sentences of up to six years on offenders”.
Baltakos was a leading voice against moving against Golden Dawn, up to September 2013, when the government was pushed into taken action after the murder of Pavlos Fyssas. According to the Wall Street Journal, Baltakos said that a crackdown “would backfire, winning the party sympathy from voters disgusted with the establishment and alienating conservative constituencies such as the army and church.”
Last week, he said he has been an “anticommunist” all his life and that the Greek left has “plagued” the country since 1942, the year it took up arms against the occupying Nazis.