ATHENS – A leading European body aimed at combating discrimination has accepted a representative of a Greek neo-Nazi political party.

Golden Dawn party member and lawmaker Eleni Zaroulia became a member of the Committee on Equality and Non-Discrimination of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe.

The body, which is based in Strasbourg, is comprised of members from 47 European nations. It was established to promote democracy, and to protect human rights and the rule of law in Europe.

Greek and international Jewish groups have repeatedly condemned the Golden Dawn party as racist and anti-Semitic. Its leader, Nikolaos Michaloliakos, uses the Heil Hitler salute and in recent interviews denied the existence of gas chambers at Nazi death camps during World War II.

Golden Dawn swept into the Greek parliament with 19 lawmakers in recent elections, campaigning on an anti-austerity, anti-immigrant platform, preying on the fears of Greeks who have seen the country flooded with immigrants amid a terrible recession.

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