Golden Dawn party activist waves flag with party logo 370.
(photo credit: REUTERS/Yannis Behrakis)
The recent appointment of alleged anti-Semite Adonis Georgiadis as Greek
minister of health is not something to be concerned about, the leader of the
organized Jewish community in Greece told The Jerusalem Post on
During a telephone interview, Benjamin Albalas – who succeeded
David Saltiel as president of the Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece
on Saturday evening – said that Georgiadis has come out as one of the foremost
opponents of the far-right Golden Dawn party, despite a history of making anti-
According to the Anti-Defamation League, Georgiadis
has claimed that “all major banks belong to the Jews,” and is reported to have
spoken out against “‘the Jewish Lobby’” for its undue influence over the fate of
his country’s foreign debt.
Georgiadis was politically affiliated with
the far-right, nationalist Popular Orthodox Rally party before jumping ship to
the ruling, center-right New Democracy faction several years ago.
has urged Prime Minister Antonis Samaras to “reconsider the appointment of Mr.
But Albalas said that the newly minted minister appears to
have changed, at least outwardly.
Georgiadis has “changed one hundred
percent and he is the strongest opponent of the Golden Dawn. He was a bad boy,
now he is a less bad boy,” Albalas said.
The Golden Dawn has been
described as a neo-Nazi organization by the ADL and World Jewish Congress, which
called on Samaras to ban the party.
Albalas’s victory was not complete
however, despite being chosen unanimously by representatives of the twelve board
members representing the eight Jewish communities in Greece to head the communal
Instead of completing a full three year term, he
was chosen on the condition that he step down after two years in favor of former
chief executive Moses Constantinis.
“You know politics are always among
the Jewish people either in Israel or in the diaspora,” he said in
Aside from the issue of anti-Semitism, the dire economic
situation in Greece has impacted the Jewish community, he said, “Our financial
situation is very bad, especially [that of] the central board of this
Several properties owned by the board are sitting empty and
are not earning any money in rent, he said in explanation of the fact that he
soon plans to “find some funds from abroad... to support our activities.”