The court ruling by which Golden Dawn was branded a criminal organisation and seven former MPs of the party were convicted on charges of directing it is of historical magnitude.
This is primarily because, as President Ekaterini Sakellaropoulou said, “Democracy and its institutions have the capability to thwart any effort to undermine them.”
Secondly, it is because it makes clear that in a democracy all views can be expressed but they cannot be allowed to be imposed on others through violence.
Liberty and democracy prevailed. Both those who carried out Golden Dawn’s crimes and those who masterminded them should be jailed now.
Yet this battle is not over.
As Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis underlined, “The trial of racism, prejudice, and violence in society is perpetual.”
The outcome of this battle is a matter of the utmost importance for all of us.
Two women have shown the way in this regard and deserve our utmost respect and gratitude.
The first is Judge Maria Lepenioti, who presided over the three-member bench.
For five-and-a-half years she impeccably directed the court proceedings and yesterday she read out the court’s damning verdict.
The other is the tragic mother Magda Fyssa, whose son Pavlos was murdered in cold blood by a Golden Dawn member and a bunch of the party’s goons. Despite the unprecedented length of the trial and the defendants’ provocative and contemptuous behaviour toward her in the courtroom she did not miss a single day of hearings.
She felt she owed it to her son and to the other victims of this criminal organisation.
Magda Fyssas’ cry after the verdict “Pavlos, you did it!” was heard all around the world.
That says it all.