Kantor Center for the Study of Contemporary European Jewry

Recent Developments

Greece Struggles to Outlaw Its Golden Dawn Fascist Party 

Conservative Government Mounts Risky Effort to Declare Group a Criminal Organization

"PIRAEUS, Greece, 05 December, 2013—At a dark crossroads here in September, Greek police kept a safe distance while black-clad activists from the fascist movement Golden Dawn chased and attacked Pavlos Fyssas, a 34-year-old rapper.

The police had long been in the habit of standing by while Golden Dawn's paramilitary squads rolled into action, mirroring the hesitance of Greece's political leadership to deal with the growing movement's muscle. Only after a Golden Dawn member fatally stabbed the rapper did police officers make an arrest, according to 15 police and witness depositions.

The arrest was the start of a risky crackdown on a party steeped in street violence and neo-Nazi rhetoric, whose surging support since last year symbolizes how Europe's economic crisis has fueled the Continent's most radical forces. From Spain to Finland, extremes of left and right, regional separatists and antiestablishment populists are on the march. Golden Dawn, once a fringe group known for stiff-arm salutes and Holocaust denial, rose to nearly 15% support in opinion polls by this fall.

Violence in Greece hasn't come only from the far right. On Nov. 1, two men on a stolen motorcycle stopped at a Golden Dawn branch in an Athens suburb and shot two party activists dead. An extreme-left group took responsibility, saying it was revenge for the killing of Mr. Fyssas.

The Golden Dawn crackdown the government is attempting takes the form of an effort to prove it is a "criminal organization" in which membership is a crime, a charge the party denies."


Greece unveils plans to toughen anti-racism laws
1/11/2013- "The Greek government has unveiled plans to toughen laws against racism and prohibit "malevolent" denial of the Holocaust, amid an increase in racist violence. The draft legislation presented by the Justice Ministry on Friday provides for maximum three-year prison terms, and fines up to 20,000 euros ($27,000), for people found guilty of inciting racist crimes. Similar penalties would apply to those convicted of denying the significance of genocides, crimes against humanity and war crimes — in a way that could incite violence, hatred, or either threaten or insult ethnic, racial or religious groups. The draft legislation will be forwarded to Parliament for debate. Greece has seen a rise in violence targeting Asian and African immigrants since its financial crisis erupted in 2009."

© The Associated Press http://www.ap.org/

Greece Bans Golden Dawn Youth Festival

23 July, 2013- "Permission given to the neo-Nazi Golden Dawn party to hold a youth rally at the park of the Port Fund in Kalamata, Greece, on August 2-5 has been withdrawn by authorities.

The permission had initially been given by Manolis Aggelakas, General Secretary of the Decentralized Administration of Peloponnese, who issued the revocation as well.

The bureau said it changed its mind “after a series of interventions by the city council of Kalamata, the General Police Directorate of the Peloponnese Region, as well as by professional bodies of the region, concerning the unhindered city function, during the tourist season, and the non-disturbance of peace and order by events of political-party character, with negative consequences on the economic and social life of Kalamata.”

The bureau said the party is prohibited from conducting any of the activities it had planned and that the space is off limits until August 30."

Taken from: http://www.eurojewcong.org/greece/9867-greece-bans-golden-dawn-youth-festival.html

Golden Dawn submits anti-racism bill – against Greeks

5 June, 2013-  "At a time when most other parties are squabbling over how to toughen anti-racism laws and ban denial of Nazi crimes, Golden Dawn on Tuesday tabled draft legislation seeking harsher laws for offences committed by undocumented migrants in Greece.

The party – commonly referred to as neo-Nazi because of its overtly aggressive stance against migrants and reverence of Nazi personalities in party pamphlets – is seeking to criminalise denial of "genocides of Greeks."

Turks are believed to have massacred ethnic Greeks in what used to be the Ottoman Empire.

The law "to combat racism against Greeks" is in response to the much-debated draft law by Justice Minister Antonis Roupakiotis which, Golden Dawn says, would make "Greeks a minority in their own country"."

Taken from: http://www.eurojewcong.org/greece/9569-golden-dawn-submits-anti-racism-bill-%E2%80%93-against-greeks.html