News / Europe

Greece Plans New Anti-racism Law Amid Golden Dawn Crackdown

Reuters
— The Greek government said on Monday it would present a bill targeting racist hate speech, part of a crackdown on the far-right Golden Dawn party after the killing of an anti-fascist rapper.
 
Greece's ruling coalition had been at loggerheads over whether it needed a new anti-racism law to deal with racist and inflammatory talk used by Golden Dawn.
 
“[The bill] will be submitted to parliament in a matter of days. It has symbolic and moral value,” Deputy Prime Minister Evangelos Venizelos told reporters, adding it would align Greek legislation with European standards.
 
Venizelos's Socialist PASOK party had pushed for a new law, while the main ruling conservative party of Prime Minister Antonis Samaras had argued that current legislation was enough.
 
But the murder of rapper Pavlos Fissas on Sept. 17 by a Golden Dawn supporter prompted a crackdown on Greece's third-most popular party, whose fierce anti-immigrant rhetoric has attracted support amid a severe economic crisis.
 
Golden Dawn leader Nikolaos Mihaloliakos and four other party lawmakers are due to appear in court this week to respond to charges of forming a criminal organization.
 
“We are dedicated in completely eradicating such a shame,” Samaras told the American Jewish Community in New York. “We have to go all the way and do whatever it takes. There is no room for the neo-Nazis in any part of the democratic world.”
 
Three police officers who were also guards of Golden Dawn lawmakers were suspended from their posts on Monday for illegally possessing ammunition, police said.
 
In a search of a house belonging to Golden Dawn lawmaker Christos Pappas, police said they found a picture of Adolf Hitler with “Golden Dawn” written on it, helmets and flags depicting a swastika and Waffen-SS insignia and empty wine bottles with labels showing Italian fascist wartime leader Benito Mussolini.
 
The government is also preparing another law that would suspend Golden Dawn's state funding on the grounds that its leadership is facing prosecution on felony charges.
 
“Democracy can't fund its opponents,” Venizelos said.
 
Golden Dawn features a swastika-like emblem and its members have been seen giving Nazi salutes. Prosecutors are investigating the party for links to about 30 violent attacks, including the killing of the rapper and a Pakistani immigrant.
 
The party has denied any connection to the rapper's death and also rejects the neo-Nazi label.
 
An outright ban of a political party is difficult under Greek law. The government plans instead to undermine Golden Dawn by cutting its money flows and dismantling its leadership.

You May Like

China Announces Corruption Probe into Senior Ex-Leader

Former security chief and member of Politburo Standing Committee, Zhou Yongkang, being probed for suspected 'serious disciplinary violation' More

India, US Look to Reset Ties During Kerry Visit

This week's talks will be first high level interaction between two countries since Prime Minister Narendra Modi took charge More

Video Young African Leadership Program Renamed to Honor Mandela

YALI program, launched by President Obama in 2010, aims to build skills in business, entrepreneurship, public management and civic leadership More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spati
X
Reasey Poch
July 28, 2014 7:18 PM
China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video ESA Spacecraft to Land on a Comet

After a long flight through deep space, a European Space Agency probe is finally approaching its target -- a comet millions of kilometers away from earth. Scientists say the mission may lead to some startling discoveries about the origins of the water on earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Africans Arrive in US for Leadership Program

President Barack Obama's Young African Leadership Initiative has brought hundreds of young Africans to the United States for a six-week program aimed at building their knowledge and skills in fields such as public administration and business. Out of the 50,000 young Africans who applied for the program, just one percent was accepted. VOA's Laurel Bowman caught up with some of those who made the cut and has this report.
Video

Video In Honduras, Amnesty Rumors Fuel US Migration Surges

False rumors in Central America are fueling the current surge of undocumented young people being apprehended at the U.S. border. The inaccurate claims suggest the U.S. will give amnesty to young migrants from the region. As VOA's Brian Padden reports from Honduras, these rumors trace back to President Obama's 2012 executive order to halt deportations for some young undocumented immigrants already living in the United States.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid