A protester is chased by police during clashes in Athens
following the killing of a 35-year-old rapper by a man who
sympathised with the far-right Golden Dawn group.
Greek police have searched the offices of the Golden Dawn
party after an anti-racism rapper was stabbed to death by a man
who sympathised with the far-right group.
The killing touched a nerve in Greece, where an economic
crisis has worsened social tensions, and rallies in several
cities to mark the death turned violent.
A 45-year-old man was arrested and admitted to the killing,
police said. Greece's citizen protection minister said the
suspect was a Golden Dawn sympathiser.
Pavlos Fissas, 35, who went by the stage name Killah P, was
stabbed twice in the heart and chest on Tuesday night in a
brawl after a soccer match shown in a cafe in Keratsini, a
working-class suburb of Athens.
Police said the offices of a political party were searched
for evidence linking it to the attack, but stopped short of
naming Golden Dawn. They later arrested a Golden Dawn
official for a weapons offence after finding a police-style
night-stick in the party's offices in Piraeus.
More than 5,000 people rallied in Athens on the spot where
Fissas was stabbed. Police fired teargas at protesters who
hurled stones and petrol bombs at a police station and set
garbage containers on fire, Reuters witnesses said.
"The government of (Prime Minister Antonis) Samaras is the
instigator by allowing murderous Golden Dawners to roam
around unpunished and armed with knives," said KEERFA, the
United Movement Against Racism and the Fascist Threat.
"It's time to punish the neo-Nazi murderers of Golden Dawn
and to throw the Samaras government - a miserable gang of
bankers, the troika (of international lenders) and neo-Nazis
- into the trash."
The leader of the right-wing Independent Greeks party, Panos
Kamenos, who visited the scene of the crime to pay his
respects was attacked and lightly injured by a group of
Clashes between police and demonstrators were reported in two
other Greek cities, Patras and Thessaloniki.
The killing of Fissas has revived calls to ban Golden Dawn,
Greece's third most popular party according to recent opinion
polls, which denies constant accusations of involvement in a
wave of attacks on immigrants and leftists.
With an emblem resembling a swastika, the party rose from
obscurity to enter parliament last year. Its leaders have
denied the Holocaust and defended Greece's 1967-1974 military
Golden Dawn is a "criminal organisation" that should be
declared illegal, the co-ruling Socialist PASOK party said.
The far-right party has condemned the killing and denied
accusations by "wretched sycophants" of any involvement.
"(The accusers) are miserable and wretched not only because
of their brazen lies and slander but because they are
exploiting a tragic event for politicking, to win votes and
to divide Greek society," Golden Dawn said in a statement.
The government plans to sharpen the law defining what a
criminal organisation is, said Citizen Protection Minister
"The abominable murder in Keratsini by an attacker
sympathising with Golden Dawn, according to his own
statement, illustrates, in the clearest way, the intentions
of neo-Nazism," Dendias said.