NEW YORK, Oct. 23, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- AJC praised the latest Greek action against the neo-Nazi Golden Dawn Party. The Greek Parliament overwhelmingly voted today, 235 to zero, to suspend state funding for Golden Dawn, which currently holds 18 of the legislature's 300 seats.
The bold parliamentary action comes a few weeks after Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras, addressing an AJC reception in New York, declared that he would "deracinate" the Golden Dawn party, and launched a crackdown on the party that includes arresting the party's leadership.
"They are a criminal group of people, who will be tried in a democratic manner," Samaras said to the audience of 100 AJC leaders. The party has used violence, intimidation and neo-Nazi symbolism to promote its racist ideology, which targets immigrants, Jews and others deemed to be "non-Greek."
"Those parliamentarians who voted to stop the funding should be applauded for taking this firm step against the Golden Dawn," said AJC Executive Director David Harris. "The party threatens the very foundation of Greece, the cradle of democracy."
Several Golden Dawn leaders are currently in jail, and others have been ordered not to leave the country, pending their trial for involvement in a "criminal organization."
The government also is investigating the possible involvement of some members of the Greek police in Golden Dawn.
Punitive steps against Golden Dawn come in the wake of the murder of a popular Greek singer. A Golden Dawn activist is accused of the crime.
SOURCE American Jewish Committee