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.
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

Is Air Travel Safe?

Aviation expert says despite tragic losses of Malaysian Airlines flights 370 and 17, industry experienced lowest fatality rate in recorded history last year More

Multimedia 100 Days Later, Nigerian Girls Still Held

Activists holding rallies in Nigeria and several other countries to mark 100th day of captivity for more than 200 schoolgirls being held by Boko Haram More

Chocolate Too Bitter? Swap Sugar for Mushrooms

US food technology company develops fermentation process using mushrooms to reduce bitterness in cocoa beans, believes it will cut sugar content in candy More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Carriers Suspend Travel to Israeli
X
Carolyn Presutti
July 23, 2014 1:21 AM
The United States is prohibiting American carriers from flying to Israel's airport in Tel Aviv for 24 hours, because of rising violence between Israel and Hamas militants. The action was announced on Tuesday, after a rocket fired by Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip landed near the airport. As VOA's Carolyn Presutti tells us, international officials soon may have to determine which combat zones are too dangerous for commercial flights.
Video

Video US Carriers Suspend Travel to Israel

The United States is prohibiting American carriers from flying to Israel's airport in Tel Aviv for 24 hours, because of rising violence between Israel and Hamas militants. The action was announced on Tuesday, after a rocket fired by Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip landed near the airport. As VOA's Carolyn Presutti tells us, international officials soon may have to determine which combat zones are too dangerous for commercial flights.
Video

Video NASA Focuses on Earth-Like Planets

For decades, looking for life elsewhere in the universe meant listening for signals that could be from distant civilizations. But recent breakthroughs in space technology refocused some of that effort toward finding planets that may harbor life, even in its primitive form. VOA’s George Putic reports on a recent panel discussion at NASA’s headquarters, in Washington.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Relic of Saint Draws Catholics Worried About Immigration Issue

A Roman Catholic saint who is a figure of devotion for those crossing the border into the United States is attracting believers concerned about the plight of undocumented immigrants. Mike O'Sullivan reports from Los Angeles, where a relic of Saint Toribio has drawn thousands to local churches.
Video

Video US Awards Medal of Honor for Heroics in Bloodiest of Afghan Battles

U.S. combat troops are withdrawing from Afghanistan, on pace to leave the country by the end of this year. But on Monday, U.S. President Barack Obama took time to honor a soldier whose actions while under fire in Afghanistan earned him the Medal of Honor. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from the Pentagon.
Video

Video Ukraine Rebels Surrender MH17 Black Boxes

After days of negotiations, a senior separatist leader handed over two black boxes from an airliner downed over eastern Ukraine to Malaysian experts early Tuesday. While on Monday, the U.N. Security Council unanimously demanded that armed groups controlling the crash site allow safe and unrestricted access to the wreckage.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.
Video

Video Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Age

Forty-five years ago this month, the first humans walked on the moon. It was during an era of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. World politics have changed since then and -- as Elizabeth Lee reports -- so has the nature of space exploration.

AppleAndroid