'Anti-Semites across political spectrum in Greece'

Greek-Israeli financier Sabby Mionis tells 'Post' that Greek political parties launder anti-Semitic pasts of MPs.

June 12, 2013 04:17
2 minute read.
Golden Dawn supporters in Athens [file photo]

Golden Dawn supporters in Athens 370 (R). (photo credit: Yorgos Karahalis / Reuters)

Mainstream Greek political parties have been “laundering” the anti-Semitic pasts of MPs, Greek-Israeli financier Sabby Mionis said in an interview with The Jerusalem Post on Tuesday.

Last week, the Greek expatriate, who is a member of the Jewish Agency’s Board of Governors and co-chairman of the United Israel Appeal’s Greek branch, was castigated by members of the far-right Golden Dawn party over his unwillingness to appear in front a a parliamentary committee to discuss a leaked list of European tax cheats. Maria Panteli, an employee of his former mutual fund, was named as the holder of a multi-million-dollar Swiss bank account.

Nikos Lekkas, deputy chief of the Greek Financial Police, had accused Panteli of being a front for Margaret Papandreou, the elderly mother of former premier George Papandreou.

Lekkas later withdrew his accusation.

Mionis refused to provide testimony in parliament because of his opposition to appearing before what he termed “Holocaust deniers.” Golden Dawn MP Ilias Kasidiaris then said, “Members of the committee are, of course, Holocaust deniers.” Kasidiaris also said that when Mionis “sets foot in our country he will be brought to justice.”

Mionis told the Post, “Golden Dawn are not the only Holocaust deniers on that committee.”

While declining to name the MPs on the record, Mionis was likely referring to New Democracy MPs Adonis Georgiadis and Makis Voridis, who he had previous attacked in op-eds over their “anti-Semitic” pasts.

Last year, Voridis and Georgiadis jumped ship from the right-wing LAOS party and joined New Democracy. In 2001, LAOS leader Georgios Karatzaferis said that “the Jews have no right to provoke, because they have filled the world with crimes.”

Voridis has previously suggested that Anne Frank’s The Diary of a Young Girl may be a forgery.

In an op-ed last year, Mionis wrote of the “transformation of Greece’s traditional center-right party, New Democracy, into an extreme right-wing party.”

Voridis, he wrote, had ties with author Kostas Plevris, whose book Jews: The Whole Truth encouraged “Greeks to execute the Jews of the country in 24 hours.”

While saying that Israel needs to cultivate strong ties with his former home, Mionis told the Post that “we need to be mindful who is coming afterwards and who [will come] after [Greek Prime Minister Antonis] Samaras.”

“I can tell you there are anti- Semitic politicians across the political spectrum in Greece, including the governing party,” he warned.

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