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Civic Nation Unity in Deversity

Anti-Xenophobic Rhetoric

Anti-Xenophobic Rhetoric

On December 26, 2014 Vice Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Evangelos Venizelos condemned the anti-Semitic rally in Larissa as a “unacceptable criminal act that a civilised society cannot tolerate”.

SYRIZA, PASOK and Democratic Left MPs proposed introducing legislation for same-sex civil partnerships. In January, SYRIZA and Ecological Greens parties protested against Roma evictions and discrimination, demanding measures to be taken to integrate them into the Greek society.

On August 17, PASOK issued a statement on the attack on the Open School for Immigrants in Piraeus. “On the day when we are celebrating the 70th anniversary of Nazi atrocities, current representatives decided to remind us about their existence here, in our country. With their actions, they once again prove that they have no relation to the homeland or history. Descendants of Nazi collaborators is their “worthy” successors”.

On April 4, General Secretary on Religion in the Greek Ministry of Education Giorgos Kalasis condemned Athens mayoral candidate from the New Democracy party Aris Spiliotopoulos for his proposal to hold a referendum on the construction of the first mosque in the Greek capital.

On May 15, former Greek Ambassador in Moscow Ilias Klis spoke in the theatre of Athens City Hall, at the even dedicated to the Victory Day. He said that peoples of Europe should resist attempts to revise history of World War Two. Mayor of Athens Fotis Provatas also spoke at the event and stressed that residents of the capital are happy that here we celebrate “this great day of Victory in memory of soldiers who fought for freedom and democracy.”

On July 24, Mayor of Thessaloniki, Yiannis Vutaris announced at a press conference about plans to create a museum of Islamic art in the northern port city. “The Turks are our brothers, while the Europeans are our partners,” he said, stressing the need to create a place of worship for Muslims in the northern capital.

On September 2, Mayor of Thessaloniki Janis Butaris wore a yellow Star of David at an inauguration ceremony, protesting the re-election of a Golden Dawn leader Artemis Mataiopulos to the city council. Golden Dawn is one of the most radical right-wing parties in Europe.

“I welcome the efforts of the Government of Greece in combating racism and homophobia. The Anti-Racism Act, adopted in 2014, strengthened the legislative framework and provided useful tools to prosecutors and police officers. Nevertheless, it will be necessary to do a lot to implement this law and further improve the effectiveness and efficiency of the judicial and law enforcement systems,” said the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights Niels Muiznieks after the completion of a five-day visit to Greece in July 2016.

The Commissioner praised the efforts to prosecute members of the neo-Nazi Golden Dawn party, including MPs, for not only for participating in the activities of this criminal organization, but also for using hate speech. He said that “such measures, as well as the positive discourse of the government towards migrants, which I noted, are very important, as they send a clear message to society about zero tolerance towards xenophobia and racism,” Muiznieks said. Hoping for further development of judicial practice in this field and its deterrent effect, the Commissioner urged the Greek authorities to provide systematic training for law enforcement officers, prosecutors and judges in the field of anti-discrimination legislation and practice, and to carry out more complete collection and analysis of data on hate crime. “Greece can benefit from the profound knowledge and rich experience of the Council of Europe. The authorities should adopt comprehensive legislation on equal treatment as soon as possible to further improve their legislative arsenal in this field.”

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