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Golden Dawn's Port Business

Among the Golden Dawn members arrested over the weekend, two, Christos Kyritsopoulos, and Anastasios Michalaros, were workers in the Perama Ship Repair Zone. Their arrests has shed light on the party's efforts to take over the Zone as a veritable fiefdom.

It has now come to light that the incidents implicating Golden Dawn in the broader region of Perama and the surrounding areas are linked with the party's efforts to do business with specific contractors and to infiltrate the the Ship Repair Zone, long a bastion of left wing unions.

According to Sunday's Real News, Golden Dawn used its "assault battalions" in order to "convince" Zone workers to accept lower wages, and to put their members on payrolls.

This was made clear through irrefutable evidence tendered by Zone workers to the Piraeus prosecution in June 2012, 14 months before the death of Pavlos Fyssas and the attack against PAME unionists.

Police inquiries have turned up the fact that Golden Dawn knew that Fyssas was the son of an especially beloved Zone worker, and he himself, occasionally worked there. Metal workers denounced that Golden Dawn was preparing a campaign to throw them out of the facilities.

Back in June 2012, a number of local unions tendered their report to the Piraeus prosecutor noting that "a group of 10-15 businesses that are acting with their own agenda, which is behind a series of efforts, over the last 2-3 years, to break up the unions, or infiltrate them."

The inquiries that followed along with police investigations dampened Golden Dawn activities for about a year.

According to a leading Zone unionist, three groups have formed over the years, those that want the legal status of port area activities to change completely, those that would accept a partial change in status, but would like to uncontrollably exploit whatever is left , and those that want under all circumstances to lower wages. In any event as the unionist mentioned the common denominator are the contractors and the 15 Zone workers that attempted to establish a Golden Dawn linked union in the Zone.

That attempt fared poorly in union elections, but after Golden Dawn's powerful showing in national elections, emboldened them.

In mid June 2012, Golden Dawn local MP Yannis Lagos made a speech to party supporters in Piraeus spoke of Egyptian fishermen that were not subjugated, warning that they would become accountable to Golden dawn. A few hours later, a group of 20 persons attacked a dwelling with five Egyptian fishermen, beating them all, one severely.

In the time that followed there was tension in the Zone, but no serious incidents.

On 8 August 2013, Lagos and other Golden Dawn cadres spoke at the party's office within the Zone, conveying the message from Mihaloliakos that the "lackeys of PAME and KKE, will disappear from here."