It was New Democracy (ND) under the Samaras government that collected all facts for Golden Dawn (GD) officials' crimes and sent the file to justice, government spokesman Stelios Petsas said on Tuesday in a social media post, ahead of a verdict by an appeals court on the far-right party's criminal liabilities on Wednesday.
Golden Dawn officials and members are being charged among other things for operating as a criminal organization and for murdering a rapper in September 2013.
Criticizing main opposition SYRIZA for using Wednesday's event to promote itself, Petsas said, "It is ND during [Antonis] Samaras' government, which collected facts for the GD officials' crimes and sent them to justice, immediately after the heinous murder against Pavlos Fyssas."
In addition, he noted, then-main opposition leader Kyriakos Mitsotakis had urged the public prior to national elections in July 2019 to prevent the GD party's return to parliament in "a country with such a powerful democratic tradition and one which suffered so much through 1974 by the junta," quoting the premier, a message the Greek voters acted upon.
The spokesman added however that as main opposition in 2014-2015 Syriza "shared the same platform [as the neo-Nazis] during rallies, taking advantage of public anger and pain" and looking for protest votes.
He also charged the party with "having no problem joining [Golden Dawn] in rejecting or voting for draft bills in parliament, provoking even their own youth party into reacting, when they amended the penal code to soften the impact of sentences on leading officials of the Golden Dawn." These actions over time, he said, contributed to the extreme-right party's political and ethical empowerment.