Greek crackdown on far-right party

Added On September 30, 2013

Greek police have arrested the leader and more than a dozen senior members of the far-right Golden Dawn party, after the killing of an anti-fascist rapper by an alleged supporter of the party.

It's the first time that a party leader and MPs have been arrested in Greece since the fall of a military dictatorship in 1974.

The biggest setback to Greece's Golden Down party since it entered parliament last year.

The leader of the far-right party, Nikolaos Mihaloliakos, four other of its lawmakers, as well as 13 other members of the party were arrested on Saturday.

They were charged with founding and participating in a criminal organization.

The arrests were made amid outrage over the murder of anti-racist musician Pavlos Fissas.

Golden Dawn, the third most popular party in Greece, is under probe for the murder of Fissas, who died after being stabbed twice by a man claiming to be the party's supporter.

But the party itself has denied any links to the killing of Fissas.

The party also calls for protests in solidarity with its jailed leader and members.

Mihaloliakos warns that Golden Dawn could pull its 18 lawmakers from parliament if the crackdown does not stop.

Prime Minister Antonis Samaras' coalition, which has 155 seats, would then face by-elections.

On Saturday Samaras ruled out snap elections, saying that all Golden Dawn members would receive a fair trial.