The European Jewish Congress (EJC) has welcomed the arrest of the leader and more than a dozen senior members of the Greek far-right Golden Dawn party after the killing of an anti-fascist rapper by a party supporter triggered outrage and protests across the country.
“This is a long overdue move which will hopefully send a very strong message to neo-Nazi’s in Greece and across Europe,” Dr. Moshe Kantor, President of the EJC, said.
“Arresting those who support violence, racism and intolerance protects democracy. Democracies in Europe have to safeguard themselves and not allow to be manipulated by extremists who wish to create havoc and chaos in our countries.”
The arrests, including party leader Nikolaos Mihaloliakos, three other lawmakers and 13 other members of the party, are the most significant crackdown on a political party in Greece since the fall of a military dictatorship in 1974.
“The arrest of the party leader in particular demonstrates that no one is above the law and that neo-Nazis cannot claim parliamentary immunity for their actions,” Kantor said.
“The EJC calls on all European governments and authorities to follow suit and proscribe parties with similar hateful, xenophobic and hateful ideologies.”
“We congratulate Prime Minister Antonis Samaras on the crackdown of neo-Nazis and hope that the Greek leadership will make this a central part of the European Union Presidency which they will assume in January 2014.”