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Greece: Measures Targeting Extreme-Right Party “Golden Dawn”

(Oct. 30, 2013) In the aftermath of the violent acts committed recently by members of the extreme-right political party “Golden Dawn” in Greece, resulting in the loss of human life, the Greek government moved swiftly to prosecute a number of the party members. (Athens News Agency & Macedonia Press Agency, Amendment Suspending Party Funding in Cases of Criminal Action Passes by Majority Vote, DAILY NEWS BULLETIN (Oct. 24, 2013), via email from the Embassy of Greece, Press and Communications Office.) The Supreme Court requested that the Greek Parliament suspend the immunity from prosecution of two Golden Dawn Parliament Members; they are charged with libel and related offenses. (Request to Remove Immunity for Two Golden Dawn MPS to Parliament, ANA-MPA DAILY NEWS BULLETIN, Issue No. 4495 (Oct., 25, 2013), via email from the Embassy of Greece, Press and Communications Office.)

In addition, on October 23, 2013, the Greek Parliament adopted an amendment to Law No. 3023/2002 on Financing of Political Parties. Pursuant to the new amendment, state funding, regular or electoral, and financial aid to political parties or coalitions will be suspended if the leaders of a party, the president of any coalition, or one-fifth of the deputies of a party are indicted for one of the following crimes: treason, threats against the territorial integrity of the state, espionage, participation in or formation of a criminal organization, or commission of terrorist acts. Out of 269 Members of Parliament present during the vote on the amending legislation, 235 voted in favor and 34 voted “present.” (Id).

The Secretary General of the Council of Europe, Thorbjorn Jagland, during his recent two-day trip to Greece, expressed his support for the steps taken by the Greek government and also for its plan to introduce an anti-racism bill in the Parliament. (Id.)