Greek Helsinki Monitor note
In a previous city council meeting for the attribution of committee positions, Nikolaos Michaloliakos had received 22 votes, while he is the only Chrysi Avgi councillor. It has been widely reported that the remaining votes came from the councillors elected with the New Democracy-backed previous mayor Nikitas Kaklamanis (he has 11 councillors) and the PASOK - Democratic Left and Greens-backed current mayor George Kaminis. In the same meeting, Mayor George Kaminis greeted with a smile Nikolaos Michaloliakos - see picture at: http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?pid=6040940&l=6689d0e2b5&id=772172967
All that encouraged the Chrysi Avgi leader to give the Nazi salute several times on Monday - see video and read AP article below:
It is recalled that the UN CERD had asked Greece to ban this neo-Nazi organization:
28 August 2009____________________
Concluding observations of the Committee on
Elimination of Racial Discrimination
11. The Committee is concerned about reports on the propagation by
certain organizations and media outlets of racist stereotypes and hate comments
against persons belonging to different ethnic and racial groups.
Committee recommends that the State party take effective measures to penalize
organizations and media outlets that are guilty of such acts. It further
recommends that the State party concretely ban Neo-Nazi groups from its
territory and take more effective measures to promote tolerance towards persons
of different ethnic origins.
Athens far-right city councillor gives Nazi salute at municipal meeting
By: The Associated Press
ATHENS, Greece - Athens' new Socialist mayor is criticizing a far-right city councillor for giving a Nazi salute during a council meeting.
Mayor Giorgos Kaminis on Tuesday condemned the gesture, which was made at a meeting at Athens City Hall and shown on Greek television and posted on the Internet.
Nikolaos Michaloliakos, leader of the far-right group Chrysi Avgi, which has been linked to violent attacks against immigrants in Athens, was seen giving the salute Monday during a heated exchange with a left-wing city councillor.
The group staged a violent anti-immigrant demonstration over the weekend.
Kaminis and the new city council were voted in on November 7-14 local elections and sworn in on Dec. 29.
Wednesday January 19, 2011
Mayor condemns ‘fascist bullying’
Athens Mayor Giorgos Kaminis yesterday condemned the second show of force in as many days against officials on his new municipal council by members of the extreme-right organization Chrysi Avgi, which has had a representative on the committee since last October.
“All those who believe that they can impose their outdated views and practices upon Athens will draw only our condemnation,” Kaminis said in a written statement following reports that a left-wing municipal councilor had been verbally attacked and harassed by a member of Chrysi Avgi in the run-down neighborhood of Aghios Panteleimonas, near central Athens. The attack on Maria Kanellopoulou – a resident of Aghios Panteleimonas, which has a large migrant population – came just a day after Nikos Michaloliakos, another municipal councilor and the leader of Chrysi Avgi, provoked outrage by making the Nazi salute during a council meeting. Kaminis said that such actions were “unacceptable” but would not be given undue attention. “Athens has chosen the field in which solutions to its major problems will be sought: that of democracy. We will not be swayed by those who attempt to impose herd behavior,” the mayor’s statement added.
Michaloliakos’s behavior during Monday’s council meeting – he made the Nazi salute twice following a tense exchange with another leftist councilor – also drew the criticism of the president of the municipal council, Panagiotis Beis, and Kaminis’s conservative predecessor, Nikitas Kaklamanis. “No one is allowed to come here with guns in their pockets, calling themselves bodyguards,” Beis said, referring to the eight heavy-set men who accompanied Michaloliakos to the council meeting on Monday.
The strongest words came from Petros Constantinou, the left-wing councilor with whom Michaloliakos clashed at the municipal council meeting. “The Nazi salute given by the fuhrer of Chrysi Avgi during a municipal council meeting... and the presence there of armed heavies has made it clear that this so-called political organization is nothing more than a neo-Nazi faction,” Constantinou said