Golden Dawn supporters in Athens 370 (R).
(photo credit: Yorgos Karahalis / Reuters)
The neo-Nazi Golden Dawn party must be eliminated, Greek Prime Minister Antonis
Samaras told an American Jewish Committee gathering in New York
“It is important to me to deracinate this group,” Samaras told
the Jewish leaders, speaking in reference to this weekend’s arrests of several
top-ranking party members, including several MPs.
“All of the leading
members of Golden Dawn have been arrested and are being prosecuted,” he said.
“They are a criminal group of people who will be tried in a democratic manner.”
The arrests came as law enforcement officials accused Golden Dawn of involvement
in the recent murder of Pavlos Fissas, a popular anti-racism rapper, and after
repeated calls by Jewish groups to ban the party.
“There is no room for
the neo-Nazis in any part of the democratic world,” Samaras said, praising his
government’s actions against Golden Dawn as “unique” in Europe, likely a veiled
jab at Ukraine and Hungary, both of which have been struggling with the entrance
of parties similar to Golden Dawn into their respective
Samaras’s comments came one day after Benjamin Albalas, head
of the Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece, told The Jerusalem Post
that he thought that “the government will go until the end” in combating Golden
As part of its efforts against Golden Dawn, the government said on
Monday it would present a bill targeting racist hate speech.
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.
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
“Democracy can’t fund its opponents,” Venizelos said.
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