The first anniversary of the appellate court conviction and outlawing as a criminal organisation of the far right Golden Dawn  party (photo) will be marked in a few days.

Yet, the history of the far right in Greece did not end with that conviction, as important as it was for the vindication of the victims.

If the events that transpired over recent days at the professional lyceum (EPAL) in the Stavroupoli area of Thessaloniki are indicative, then 12 months after the victory of democratic forces, there are some who are flexing their muscles just as they had over the past decade.

The critical difference between then and now is that citizens and the political system are wiser. We recognise the danger signs more easily.

We know what the result will be if we leave the wound untreated. We read the warning signs in the latest opinion polls. Above all, we know that prevention is the best way to treat such cases.

There can be no institutional toleration of violence with knives, of impunity, or of provocations with crowbars and Nazi salutes. There must be no reservations in confronting these phenomena, especially when hooded thugs charge out of schools which they use as bases for their activities.

The need for a common front must first of all be understood by political parties, which do not hesitate to hurl negative charatecterisations at their political opponents even in cases where consensus is mandated.

They have a duty to protect the choice that was made when the first file was sent to the prosecutor.

Together, they must without hesitation turn their back on such phenomena.

Otherwise, history may be repeated as a farce, with no one laughing this time.

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