The crackdown against Golden Dawn – Greece’s far right party has been stepped up. The government is preparing a bill which will be put before parliament in a matter of days to outlaw racist hate speech. It is the latest move against the party.
There had been a split in the ruling coalition over whether it needed a new anti-racism law. Now it is united.
“Democracy cannot fund its opponents. When you have a criminal organisation working within a political party there must be penalties when it comes to funding.
‘It is a big mistake for anyone to come to the conclusion that Nazi behaviour that results in violent acts is an automatic result of the economic crisis,” Greek Deputy Prime Minister Evangelos Venizelos told reporters.
Golden Dawn’s leader Nikolaos Mihaloliakos and four other party lawmakers are due in court later this week to respond to charges of forming a criminal organisation.
The death of a well known rapper by a suspect with alleged links to Golden Dawn sparked huge demonstrations. It remains Greece’s third most popular party with 18 deputies.
Its leader had threatened to withdraw them from parliament to force early elections. Evengelos Venizelos refused to take the threat seriously saying the government would not be “blackmailed”.
Golden Dawn has denied any connection to the rapper’s death.