News / Europe

Athens Police Block Far-right 'Greeks Only' Food Handout

Riot police try to stop members of the Golden Dawn party from unloading food from a vehicle in Athens, Greece, May 2, 2013.
Riot police try to stop members of the Golden Dawn party from unloading food from a vehicle in Athens, Greece, May 2, 2013.
TEXT SIZE - +
Reuters
— Greece's anti-immigrant Golden Dawn party scuffled with police who stopped them from distributing food exclusively to Greeks in Athens' central square on Thursday ahead of the Greek Orthodox Easter holiday on May 5.
        
Television footage showed Golden Dawn members in their trademark black T-shirts hitting riot police on the head with rolled up Greek flags after being prevented from unloading eggs, bread, lamb to hand out in Syntagma Square.

Police responded with a brief burst of tear gas.

Athens Mayor George Kaminis had banned the far-right party from conducting the handout in the square in front of parliament, calling it a "soup kitchen of hatred" because only those with a Greek identity card were eligible to receive food.

"Democracy will prevail," said Kaminis. "Today the logic of violence, of thuggery, of 'having my way' was beaten."

The party went ahead with the handout outside its offices, where hundreds gathered to collect potatoes and red Easter eggs.

Kaminis said a Golden Dawn lawmaker later tried to hit him, but missed. Police confirmed they led away a Golden Dawn lawmaker who moved "menacingly" against the mayor, and said they are investigating accusations the lawmaker produced a weapon.

Golden Dawn rose from obscurity last year on a fiercely anti-immigrant and anti-corruption agenda, tapping into popular anger over austerity measures demanded by the country's lenders and fears of rising crime.

Greeks have seen their living standards crumble as the country faces its sixth year of recession that has driven unemployment to record highs. Steep cuts to wages and pensions demanded by the European Union and International Monetary Fund in return for the bailout funds keeping the economy afloat have left many unable to make ends meet.

Opinion polls indicate Golden Dawn would be the third biggest party in Greece if elections were held now. The party, whose leader denies the Holocaust and whose members have been seen given Nazi-style salutes, denies it is neo-Nazi, as alleged by critics.

You May Like

Russia-Ukraine Crisis Could Trigger Cyber War

Why Europe and the US may be "whistling past the graveyard?" More

Egyptian Court Jails 23 Pro-Morsi Supporters

Meanwhile, Egyptian officials say gunmen have killed two members of the country's security forces More

Pakistani Journalists Protest Shooting of Colleague

Hamid Mir, a host for private television channel Geo, was wounded after being shot three times Saturday, but is expected to survive More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politicsi
X
Michael Eckels
April 19, 2014
There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politics

There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Face of American Farmer is Changing

The average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population. It’s a troubling trend signaling big changes ahead for American agriculture as aging farmers retire. Reporter Mike Osborne says a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau is suggesting what some of those changes might look like... and why they might not be so troubling.
Video

Video Donetsk Governor: Ukraine Military Assault 'Delicate But Necessary'

Around a dozen state buildings in eastern Ukraine remain in the hands of pro-Russian protesters who are demanding a referendum on self-rule. The governor of the whole Donetsk region is among those forced out by the protesters. He spoke to VOA's Henry Ridgwell from his temporary new office in Donetsk city.
Video

Video Drones May Soon Send Data From High Seas

Drones are usually associated with unmanned flying vehicles, but autonomous watercraft are also becoming useful tools for jobs ranging from scientific exploration to law enforcement to searching for a missing airliner in the Indian Ocean. VOA’s George Putic reports on sea-faring drones.
Video

Video New Earth-Size Planet Found

Not too big, not too small. Not too hot, not too cold. A newly discovered planet looks just right for life as we know it, according to an international group of astronomers. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Copts in Diaspora Worry About Future in Egypt

Around 10 percent of Egypt’s population belong to the Coptic faith, making them the largest Christian minority in the Middle East. But they have become targets of violence since the revolution three years ago. With elections scheduled for May and the struggle between the Egyptian military and Islamists continuing, many Copts abroad are deeply worried about the future of their ancient church. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky visited a Coptic church outside Washington DC.
Video

Video Critics Say Venezuelan Protests Test Limits of Military's Support

During the two months of deadly anti-government protests that have rocked the oil-rich nation of Venezuela, President Nicolas Maduro has accused the opposition of trying to initiate a coup. Though a small number of military officers have been arrested for allegedly plotting against the government, VOA’s Brian Padden reports the leadership of the armed forces continues to support the president, at least for now.
Video

Video More Millenials Unplug to Embrace Board Games

A big new trend in the U.S. toy industry has more consumers switching off their high-tech gadgets to play with classic toys, like board games. This is especially true among the so-called millenial generation - those born in the 1980's and 90's. Elizabeth Lee has more from an unusual café in Los Angeles, where the new trend is popular and business is booming.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
AppleAndroid