Greek police stop neo-Nazi food handout

2013-07-24 13:00

Athens - Police on Wednesday prevented neo-Nazi party Golden Dawn from holding a Greeks-only food handout in an Athens square after the mayor branded the event "racist".

In a rare step reserved only for high-security events, the police banned all gatherings in the central Athens area chosen by the Golden Dawn for the initiative.

"For purposes of public safety, all public gatherings [in the area] are not allowed from midday to midnight," the police said.

Golden Dawn was first elected to parliament last year, winning nearly 7% of the vote and 18 seats out of an overall 300.

The party has benefited from a rise in social tensions in the debt-wracked country, which is in its sixth consecutive year of recession and fourth year of austerity measures that it has undertaken to carry out in return for international bailout funds.

The Socialist-backed mayor of Athens, George Kaminis, has repeatedly opposed Golden Dawn's attempts to boost its ratings with public donations to Greeks only, saying that there are many immigrants in the city who are in greater need of assistance.

Implicated in assaults

Kaminis this week said he would not allow the party to use the city's public spaces for Wednesday's planned food distribution, calling it "politically unacceptable" and encouraged "racism and xenophobia".

Another attempted food handout by the group had been thwarted by city authorities in May, forcing the group to distribute the food at its offices instead, and a Golden Dawn deputy had later attempted to assault Kaminis in retaliation.

Many Golden Dawn supporters have been implicated in violent assaults against immigrants and the party is known for its anti-Semitic and xenophobic discourse.

Two other Golden Dawn deputies have been stripped of parliamentary immunity for destroying property belonging to immigrants at a market near Athens.

And the party's spokesperson, Ilias Kassidiaris, is to be tried for assaulting two leftist lawmakers on live television last year.

  • Lee De Marco - 2013-07-24 13:22

    This is so sad - please don't let GOLDEN DAWN get a foothold - we saw what happened in South Africa. The regime of the time spoke to peoples fear and sense of entitlement and like sheep they followed where they thought they could make the best deal. While everyone has the right to representation - 7% sounds little to much...

      Joe Soap - 2013-07-24 14:20

      Idi Amin was a Hitler fan. Gee, I wonder why??? The vids are on youtube for anyone who's interested to see.

      Joe Soap - 2013-07-24 14:39

      Re my comment on Idi Amin - Cognitive dissonance, anyone? Something wrong with what you've been taught at school and by the media ????

  • Joe Soap - 2013-07-24 14:23

    Gee, I wonder why Golden Dawn members are anti-Semitic? I'm sure it's for no reason at all, they just woke up one morning feeling that they must become anti-Semitic.

      Joe Soap - 2013-07-24 14:28

      PS - see related News24 story "Shouts of 'Heil Hitler' in Greek parliament".

  • Gary Landman - 2013-07-24 15:07

    What do you all expect? (comment aimed at bloggers on this site) I am not in any way condoning the golden dawn, but everyone thinks that every tough situation will nurture saints who will step up to the plate! That is flawed thinking. If we do not want to see the violent extreme right wing explosion that will emminate from Greece and other debt wracked countries in Europe, then we need to quit pushing the historically failed liberal agenda in our countries, and start out on a path of mainstream conservative action based on free market principals. Promotion of liberal practice will only make the general public too lazy and unequipped to deal with hardship. GET OFF OF YOUR LAZY BACKSIDES! NOW!

  • Warren - 2013-07-24 16:35

    I suppose there is a similar situation now in Greece as in 1920's Germany. the peoples frustration will support extremists offering shorter term solutions at the expense of other ideals. Scary times

  • Shahla Lalezary - 2013-07-25 03:26

    The Golden Dawn has become a substitute government at the street level in light of the complete collapse of government social services. The Greek government is very close to a failed state and neither the Eu nor the policies of the remaining Greek parties have proffered any answers. Golden Dawn has offered very practical solutions to very real Greek problems, such as preventing further immigration (in the hundreds of thousands each year) which has generated a spiraling crime rate, the occupation of urban areas, and an entire change of attitude. if they stop Golden Dawn from distributing food, will the government do it? Of course not.

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