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May 09, 2014

Antisemitic and Racist Statements by Greek Political Leaders

On May 18 and May 25, Greece will hold its local elections, which coincides with the May 25 European parliamentary elections. Golden Dawn candidates are expected to do well in both elections, in line with a trend for far-right parties in several European countries. Golden Dawn denies being neo-Nazi or antisemitic, but their symbols and rhetoric suggest otherwise. Party leaders are also unapologetically hostile to migrants and LGBT people. Many voters appear to be either overlooking the neo-fascist message or embracing it.

Here are some of their statements:

Official Golden Dawn Materials

 “Respecting the intellectual, national, and racial inequality of humans we can build a just society based on equality before the law.” Source: Golden Dawn website (emphasis added).

Nikolaos Michaloliakos

Founder and leader of Golden Dawn. Currently in prison on charges of leading a criminal organization.

“I have read many books that question the number of the 6 million Jews, and they say that it is an overestimation which was made up, even the antifascist writers claim this… There were no ovens! This is a lie. I believe that it is a lie. There were no gas chambers either. There were many dead in the concentration camps, from many nations. This was a war crime. The concentration camps built by the Americans for the Japanese, this was also a war crime.”
Source: JTA (2012)

Ilias Kasidiaris

Golden Dawn spokesman, member of parliament, and candidate for mayor of Athens. In 2012 Kasidiaris, who has a swastika tattoo, read an extract from “The Protocols of the Elders of Zion” on the floor of the Greek parliament.

“History has not yet given its final verdict on Hitler”
            Source: greekreporter.com (2013)

“We’re the Athenian citizens, not those that came from Bangladesh. The Athenian citizens, the finances of the city will be utilized exclusively to assist the Athenian citizens. Not the illegal immigrants, not the Pakistanis, not the Afghanis, none of those that come to Greece to commit crimes.”
Source: Campaign launch, reported by Golden Dawn New York Division, May 2014

Ilias Panagiotaros

Golden Dawn member of parliament and candidate for governor of Attica region.

“He [Hitler] was a great personality, like Stalin. In every period of time, there must be, there are some people who are doing the dirty job.”

“If you’re talking about one nation, it’s one race. This is how God fixed Earth.”

“Until 1997 the international association of doctors and I don’t know what considered homosexuality a sickness, illness, which it is.”

Source: Interview with 60 Minutes Australia (2014)

Artemis Matthaiopoulos

Golden Dawn member of parliament and candidate for mayor of Thessaloniki.

Matthaiopoulous is a member of a punk rock band called “Pogrom.” Its songs include “Auschwitz,” which contains the lyrics, “F*** Wiesenthal. F*** Anne Frank. F*** the whole tribe of Abraham. The Star of David makes me vomit,” and “Speak Greek or Die,” which threatens migrants coming to Greece.

Materials Seized in Raids

Following the arrests of four Golden Dawn leaders, investigators seized the computers of Michaliliakos, Kasidiaris, and two deputies. The computers contained videos from party members making the following comments:

A party member tells other supporters they must “kill the Jew hiding inside us.”

“Those who complain but won’t get up off their couches are worms and we will crush them underfoot like worms… Others swing between the left and right, but we don’t care that they’re swinging because they’ll be swinging by their necks.” Source: Ekathimerini (2013)

For more information please contact Corinne Duffy at DuffyC@humanrightsfirst.org or 202-370-3319.