Greece cuts state funding for extremist party

Golden Dawn lawmakers in the Greek parliamentThe Greek parliament has voted to halt state funding for the neo-Nazi Golden Dawn party whose leaders are under criminal investigation. A new law allows an indefinite funding freeze for parties whose leadership is charged with involvement in a criminal group or terrorism.  The move is likely to deprive Golden Dawn of a major financial resource. Around US$ 1.2 million in state funding have been set aside for the party this year.

Party leader Nikos Michaloliakos and two other Golden Dawn lawmakers are in custody awaiting trial on charges of being part of a criminal organization. Their arrests followed the murder of an anti-fascist musician, allegedly by a supporter of the party.

The fatal stabbing last month has led to increasing calls for the party to be banned outright. The new law was passed by 235 votes to zero in the 300-seat assembly during a late-night sitting on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, the World Jewish Congress welcome Greece's action against Golden Dawn. In a resolution adopted at its Executive meeting in Jerusalem on Tuesday, the WJC leadership commends "the Greek authorities for bringing to bear the full force of the law on the leaders of the Golden Dawn party who are alleged to have been involved in criminal activities" and "expresses hope that the Greek government will honor its pledge to implement adequate legislation against hate crimes and incitement to racial hatred, as a matter of urgency."


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