Internet platform for studying Xenophobia, Radicalism and Problems of Intercultural communication.

Xenophobic Rhetoric

Xenophobic Rhetoric The leader of the ultra-right party "Golden Dawn" Nikolaos Michaloliakos.

Xenophobic manifestations in Greece are generally related to the parliamentary party “Golden Dawn”, yet they are not the only ones. Press Secretary of the Golden Dawn party and Mayoral candidate in Athens Ilias Kasidiaris said on February 16, 2014: “We are citizens of Athens, and not those who came from Bangladesh. The city budget will only be used to help the citizens of Athens. Not illegal immigrants, not Pakistanis, not Afghanis, no one who comes to Greece to commit crime”.

On April 15, 2014 Greek MP from the neo-Nazi Golden Dawn party Ilias Panayotaras gave an interview to Australian television programme “60 Minutes”, where he called Adolf Hitler a “great man”, noting that Dawn would solve all problems in Greece if it had the opportunity to take law in its hands. He also said that homosexuality is a disease.

In the election of 2015, "Golden Dawn" actively supported the anti-Islamic theme. "If we vote for the Golden Dawn, then there will be no mosques, and in Athens, and not somewhere," said candidate for People's Deputies Ilyas Panagiotaros during one of the rally. Then he stated that Muslims come to Greece in order to "steal, kill and rape, they built hundreds of mosques in our districts, and no one does about it." These are typical statements of activists of the party, which could be heard during the entire election campaign. It is characteristic that according to its results, the "Golden Dawn" still received one seat less than in the previous elections.

On September 30, Golden Dawn MP Mihail Arvanitis said in Parliament that Greek Jews are avoiding tax.

On December 16, Panos Kammenos, leader of a small right-wing party called Independent Greeks, repeated the same statement.

In January, Nea Demokratia MP Sofia Voltepsi called refugees “unarmed invaders” and “tools in the hands of the Turks”.

On January 30, Minister of Order and Protection of Citizens of Greece Nikos Dendias made a speech, complaining about the “low quality” of immigrants arriving to the country. According to him, Greece is in a “tragic” situation in regards to immigration: “The difference is that, for example, Sweden receives immigrants from the former USSR, who have a certain level of education. In a broader sense, they can even be called Europeans. We, however, get people from Bangladesh and Pakistan.”

Minister stated that people from these countries “belong to a completely different culture, they live in a world different from ours.” At the same time, Dendias stressed that he did not mean to belittle anyone’s dignity with his words.

On December 2, Minister of Justice Charalambos Athanasiou advocated strongly against legalising same-sex marriage despite the European Court Resolution of 2013, according to which not listing same-sex marriage as a legal civil union goes against the European Convention for Human Rights. Athanasiou said, “This is a country that respects traditions, respects the human nature, according to which same-sex marriage is simply impossible.” He added that he will not even consider this issue.

In May 2015, Kavala Mayor Dimitra Tsanaka stopped the unveiling of a memorial to the city’s 1,484 Jews that were killed by Nazi troops, because it featured the Star of David. Tsanaka was elected mayor in 2014, backed by conservative New Democracy. Her decision was backed by the majority of the city’s municipal council. After three days Mrs Tsanaka apologized to members of the Jewish community and pledged that the inauguration, originally scheduled for May, was held on 7 of June.

In 2018-20, the following xenophobic statements were recorded, some of which led to legal action:

  • In 2018, the then-court of appeals prosecutor, then deputy prosecutor at the Court of Cassation, said in a speech about the state of crime in Greece, in particular that "illegal immigrants and refugees represent a population with a high level of serious crime... Greece, with its armies of hordes of destitute aliens, tends to become not only a dumping ground for human souls, but, worst of all, a dangerous arena of multifaceted and highly evolved crime."
  • One leader of a fringe "liberal" party in 2018 posted an online post in which he argued that "being Muslim is a criminal offense."
  • The mayor of Asprpeyrgos, a Greater Athens suburb with a significant Roma population, said in a 2018 post that "an uncontrolled group of Roma who have been active in the region for several years cannot come to their senses ... the daily behavior of this particular group, characterized by others as vulnerable but whose racism against us we tolerate while being called racist, has continued in our region for over 20 years."

Interestingly, prosecutors did not find a crime in these speeches and these cases were not brought to trial. On the contrary, the following cases in 2019-20 were taken to court by prosecutors:

  • A case was brought against an extreme right-wing newspaper for a front-page article headlined "Transvestite Parliament - Beat All 'Sissies'" - 148 "perverts" voted for this abortion of the [civil unions] law.
  • Against the former foreign minister who said in a TV interview that "the only good Turk is a dead Turk." I believe that because I haven't found a good Turk." They lack basic knowledge. The Turk has no sense of the law."
  • Against the then member of the Political Committee of the New Democracy Party, who wrote in his social media post that "being gay, bi and trans is perverse and unnatural."
  • Against the leader of a fringe leftist party who wrote a conspiracy theory article that said, among other things, that "arriving illegal immigrants are suspects of terrorist acts" and called for a "general uprising."
  • Against the Deputy Minister of Education, who in a speech in Parliament said, among other things, that "with patience and persistence the Jews secured ownership of the Holocaust in order to claim their justification."
  • Against an extreme right-wing columnist who published on the front pages of a far-right Internet publication an article entitled "Parliament is a Jewish synagogue!!!" when a plaque was unveiled in Parliament to commemorate the victims of the Holocaust who died in Greece.
  • Against the famous blogger for the manifesto of the new movement he founded, in which he asked for the "deportation of all members of the Muslim minority who identify themselves as Turks.

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