Greece: Member of Neo-Nazi Party Guilty of Inciting Racism

September 16, 2014  

A court in Athens, Greece, on Tuesday found a member of the neo-Nazi Golden Dawn party guilty of inciting racist violence, the To Vima Greek newspaper reported.

The man, Alexandros Plomaritis, was given a three-year suspended sentence, according to the report.

Plomaritis was accused of making racist comments in a documentary by director Konstantinos Georgousis, where he referred to migrants as “sub humans” and “taints”. Clips from the documentary had been broadcast by Channel 4 in the UK.

The candidate for the neo-Nazi party told the courts that his comments were made during an exaggerated, private conversation at a café and claimed to have thought that he was talking to a student competing an assignment rather than a professional director, according to To Vima.

Golden Dawn has become notorious for its blatant anti-Semitic and xenophobic rhetoric, openly displaying copies of “Mein Kampf,” as well as other works on Greek racial superiority at party headquarters.

The party’s leader Nikos Michaloliakos has claimed that Nazi concentration camps did not use ovens and gas chambers to exterminate Jews during the Holocaust.

Over the past year, however, the party has been the subject of a crackdown by Greek authorities, with several of its leaders being arrested and tried.

Last week, Greece ratcheted up its punishments for racism, anti-Semitism and hate speech, in a move prompted by the surprise rise of Golden Dawn. 

A new law approved by parliament sets prison sentences of up to three years – up from two years – and fines of up to 20,000 euros ($26,000) for “inciting acts of discrimination, hatred or violence” over race, religion or disability.

Similar punishment is meted to those denying or praising the Holocaust, genocide and war crimes against humanity.

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