Greek police generals resign after neo-Nazi killing

Suspect in stabbing of Pavlos Fyssas
Image caption The suspect has allegedly confessed to the stabbing

Two senior police officials have resigned following last week's killing of an anti-fascist activist by a member of the neo-Nazi Golden Dawn party.

The authorities say they quit for "personal reasons". Another two senior policemen were suspended.

But it is thought they are blamed for failing to search a Golden Dawn office last week in which weapons were found.

The stabbing of Pavlos Fyssas, 34, last Wednesday near the capital Athens prompted mass anti-fascist protests.

Giorgos Roupakias, 45, later allegedly admitted killing the activist and was charged with voluntary manslaughter and illegal possession of a weapon.

Support drops

Image caption Mr Fyssas rapped against racism

On Monday the authorities announced the resignations of the inspector general for southern Greece and the general police director of central Greece. Another two senior police officials were suspended.

In addition, seven other police officers were suspended for alleged links to the party.

There have long been claims of widespread police support for the neo-Nazis, including figures showing that in some areas one in two police officers voted for them in last year's election, the BBC's Mark Lowen in Athens reports.

But it has taken the killing of Mr Fyssas, an anti-racism rapper who went by the stage name Killah P, by the Golden Dawn member to shake the authorities into action, our correspondent says.

The crime stunned Greece, and for the first time in months the party's support dropped significantly in the latest opinion polls.

Prime Minister Antonis Samaras has since vowed not to let the party "undermine" democracy, and government officials say it must now be treated as a "criminal organisation".

Golden Dawn officially denies being a neo-Nazi movement, though its badge resembles a swastika, some senior members have praised Adolf Hitler, and its members wear black T-shirts and combat trousers at anti-immigrant demonstrations.

The party came from nowhere to win nearly 7% of the vote in 2012 general elections and took its place in parliament.

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