The Greek far right: Racist dilemmas

Greece needs a more robust anti-racism law

Jun 22nd 2013 | ATHENS


IN AN ugly recent exchange in Greece’s parliament, Ilias Kassidiaris, spokesman for the neo-Nazi Golden Dawn party, denied that the Holocaust had happened. Vassilis Economou, from the Democratic Left party, said that in Germany the penalty for denying the Holocaust was five years’ jail. Democratic Left and the PanHellenic Socialist Movement (Pasok), the two smaller coalition parties, want a new law against hate speech and racism. A draft bill from Antonis Roupakiotis, the justice minister from Democratic Left, aims squarely at Golden Dawn, proposing to ban an association if one of its members is found guilty of a hate crime, including Holocaust denial.

Since entering parliament a year ago with 18 deputies, Golden Dawn has been a steady third in opinion polls, with about 11% of the vote, behind only the New Democracy party of Antonis Samaras, the prime minister, and the far-left opposition Syriza party. Its anti-immigrant rhetoric, swastika-like party emblem and torch-lit parades led by young men in black T-shirts horrify many Greeks. Golden Dawn supporters are blamed for an upsurge in racist violence. One was arrested in April for shooting at a group of immigrant strawberry-pickers demanding back pay.

(Read the full report on the Economist’s website:


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