ATHENS: The head of Greece’s neo-Nazi Golden Dawn party was facing a charge of leading a criminal organisation yesterday after he was arrested by anti-terror police along with four fellow MPs.
Party founder Nikos Michaloliakos and the four Golden Dawn lawmakers were held overnight after they were arrested in dawn raids Saturday amid high tensions in Greece following the murder of a leftist musician, who was allegedly stabbed to death by a party activist.
They were placed under judicial investigation along with 10 other party members facing likely charges of belonging to a criminal organisation, a court source said. Michaloliakos faces an additional charge of leading a criminal organisation.
Austrian parties in tough election fight
VIENNA: Austria’s once-mighty two main political parties are projected to suffer their worst election result since 1945, as voters turn to the far-right, the Greens and two new parties.
The unloved coalition of Chancellor Werner Faymann’s Social Democrats (SPOe) with the conservative People’s Party (OeVP) will likely stay in power, however, but possibly needing a third partner.
Opinion polls give the SPOe 27-28 percent and the OeVP 21-22 percent of the vote, down from 29 percent and 26 percent at the last election in 2008 -- and a far cry from scores touching 50 percent in decades gone by.
Swiss army simulates attack by France
GENEVA: Switzerland’s army simulated a French attack against their country in training exercises in August, the newspaper Matin Dimanche revealed yesterday.
The army imagined a scenario in which France was in financial turmoil and had split up into several regional entities. One of these was preparing attacks on Switzerland to retrieve money it had apparently stolen from it.
“The exercise has strictly nothing to do with France,” said Daniel Berger, captain of the Swiss armoured brigade.
“It was prepared in 2012 when fiscal relations between both countries were less tense,” he added.
Plagiarism charges against minister
BERLIN: Germany’s former foreign minister and senior Social Democrat Frank-Walter Steinmeier has became the latest German politician to face allegations of academic plagiarism, an act which brought down two of Angela Merkel’s ministers.
Weekly magazine Focus cited university professor Uwe Kamenz as saying that he had found 500 areas of suspicious “similarities” when comparing Steinmeier’s doctoral thesis in law in 1991 with some 100 sources.
He said would be open to a review of the thesis by his former university. Agencies