This shows that it is urgent and important to modify the rules of the PACE in order to allow the exclusion of individuals or parties which are the ennemies of the founding values of the Council of Europe : democracy, human rights, equality and Europe.
It is the Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras and his party New Democracy who bear the responsibility of the presence of the neo-Nazis of Golden Dawn at the PACE. Indeed, it is up to each national parliament to decide on the compositions of the delegations. The Greek parliament is thus allowed and entitled to build a coalition without any neo-Nazi.
This has been the pledge of the Greek parties Pasok, Democratic Left (members of the government coalition) and of Syriza since November.
This was the decision taken and announced by the Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras when he met in Athens, on December the 17th, the President of the European Grassroots Antiracist Movement, Benjamin Abtan.
This meeting followed the great mobilization by the Greek and European civil society under the leadership of EGAM, which gathered more than 10,000 people in the streets of Athens on December 15th, supported by Nobel Prize such as Elie Wiesel or Dario Fo, and prominent European intellectuals such as Bernard Kouchner, Adam Michnik or Serge Klarsfeld.
The decision by PM Samaras was confirmed and announced by New Democracy on December the 19th.
But, the Greek delegation which was sent on Monday to the PACE has the neo-Nazi Eleni Zaroulia in it : PM Samaras thus did exactly the opposite of what he pledged and announced he would do.
He brings a strong support to the Greek neo-Nazis, which supported the Dictatorship of the Colonels and, who, thanks to him and New Democracy, are part of an institution which was built to prevent Nazism, which fought against the Dictatorship of the Colonels and allowed the return of democracy in Greece.
He shows an unacceptable contempt of the European civil society and of the Nobel Prize and intellectuals who support it in its fight for democracy.
The European Grassroots Antiracist Movement EGAM denounces the undefensible double game of the Greek PM Samaras on neo-Nazism and his unacceptable support to the neo-Nazis of “Golden Dawn”.
against racism, antisemitism and neo-Nazism !European mobilization against neo-Nazims in Greece !
In Greece like elsewhere in Europe, racism, antisemitism and neo-Nazism are expanding, without any strong and determined mobilization from the democrats.
Racist, antisemitic and denying holocaust speeches as well as the increasing number of violent behaviours in Greece jeopardize the fundamental values of democracy, in the very country where it was born.
This must not be considered as a « natural » and negligible consequence of the economic and social crisis that cripples the country, not only because it is essential for a democratic society to respect Human Rights, but also because the crisis will not end tomorrow.
Given today’s intolerable situation in Greece, we, leaders of the civil society, intellectuals, artists, citizens involved in the social and political life, say together and loud : “Enough !”
Enough racist attacks ! Enough collusion between the police and Golden Dawn’s neo-Nazi thugs ! Enough racist, antisemitic and denying holocaust declarations ! Enough with the passivity of the legal system ! Enough permissiveness, protection and support given de facto to the gangsters of Golden Dawn !
They only thrive on the democrats’ indifference and weaknesses.
Let us be clear : fighting racism, antisemitism and neo-Nazism in Greece does not mean fighting Greece, but fighting this ideology of hatred spreading across the whole continent.
It means being part of the great European struggle for democracy. It means supporting all of these who, elsewhere in Europe, also take part in this struggle and who need the democrats to mobilize in Greece. It means offering everyone, and especially young people, both a hope and a future, better than the unreachable horizon of debt repayment. It means keeping the European dream alive, the dream of a truly democratic continent, cleared of racism and antisemitism.
In this great and beautiful fight, Europe must commit itself, since the European policies imposed on Greece, particularly in terms of immigration and austerity, create the conditions for neo-Nazism to spread.
Greek political leaders must also commit themselves : the malfunctioning of some state institutions, the indifference and the support brought de facto to Golden Dawn feed the permissiveness that make it possible for racist acts and speeches to multiply.
The whole society must get involved. All individuals have the responsibility to say “Enough !”, to make neo-Nazis understand that democracy imposes boundaries and that the democrats are determined to have those boundaries respected.
This is why we call on all the individuals fond of justice, freedom and equality to join us and to express their commitment to democracy and their reject of racism, antisemitism and neo-Nazism, by walking together and silently, on Saturday, December 15th, at 3pm, from the Parliament to the Acropolis.
Benjamin Abtan, President of the European Grassroots Antiracist Movement – EGAM, Ahmed Moawia, President of the Greek Forum for Migrants, Bernard Kouchner, Former French Minister of Foreign Affairs, Founder of Nobel Prize Winner Doctors Withour Borders and Doctors of the World, Younous Muhammadi, President of the Greek Forum for Refugees, Dario Fo, Literature Nobel Prize, Konstantinos Tsitselikis, Chairman of the Board of the Hellenic League for Human Rights, Serge Klarsfeld, President of the “Fils et Filles des déportes juifs de France”, Petros Markaris, Writer, Bernard-Henri Lévy, Philosopher, Takis Theodoropoulos, Writer, Franca Rame, Actress & author, Panagiotis Dimitras, Executive Director of the Greek Helsinki Monitor, Adam Michnik, Historian, essayist, journalist, former member of Solidarnosc,Dimitris Sotiropoulos, Professor at the Athens University, Angela Scalzo, Secretary General of SOS Razzismo (Italy), Cindy Léoni, President of SOS Racisme (France), Petros Constantinou, National coordinator of the Movement United Against Racism and Fascist Threat, Miguel Angel Moratinos, Former Spanish Minister of Foreign Affairs, Yannis Panagopoulos, President ofGeneral Confederation of Greek Workers (GSEE), ADEDY – the Civil Servants’ Confederation, The European Trade Union Confederation – ETUC, Javied Aslam, President of the Pakistani Community of Greece and Union of Immigrant Workers, Pakistani Community of Greece, Erika Muhi, Director of NEKI (Hungary), Lina Venturas, Professor, University of Peloponnese, Irene Petropoulou, Adjunct Chairperson of the Lesbian and Gay Community of Greece (OLKE), Jovana Vukovic, Coordinator of the Regional Center for Minorities & Maja Micic, Executive Director of Youth Initiative for Human Rights (Serbia), Reza Gholami, President of the Association of United Afghan Political Refugees in Greece, Maria Kouveli, President of the Integration Council of Athens, Kostis Papaioannou, Former Chair of the National Commission for Human Rights, Tanzanian Community in Greece, Christina Koulouri, Chair of the History Education Committee of the Centre for Democracy and Reconciliation in Southeast Europe, Panteion University, Serdar Yazar, Spokesperson of the Turkish Union in Berlin-Bandenburg-TBB (Germany), Greek Center for Refugees,Froumentios Gadogo Kinya, President of ASANTE, Nassos Theodoridis, Director of Antigone,Marian Mandache, Executive Director of Romani Criss (Romania), Maria Moumoulidou, Professor at the Thrace University, i-Red, Kotsias Spryos, Former President of the Panhellenic Federation of Railways (POS), El Rapta – Egyptian Association in Greece, Makis Leontakianakos, Lawyer, Antidictatorship movement 1967-1974, Dioscuria – Hellenic Georgian Union, Cengiz Algan, Spokesperson of Durde ! (Turkey), Stephanos Papageorgiou, Professor of Modern History, Panteion University, Pan-African Association of Greece,Papachrysanthou Ersi, President of the Committee against the Offices of Golden Dawn in Pagrati, Kenyan Community of Greece, Kari Helene Partapuoli, Director of the Norwegian Antiracist Center, Gazmend Kapllani, Author, Journalist, Cameroonian Association of Greece,Dimitri Vorris, Screenwriter, Katarachias Costas, Member of the Board of the Federation of Unions of Public health Hospital Doctors, Greek-Indian Cultural Society, Antonis Liakos, History Professor at the University of Athens, Kasia Kubin, Director of the Foundation Forum for Social Diversity & Paula Sawicka, President of the Open Republic Association (Poland),Despina Papadopoulou, History Professor at the Hellenic Open University, Nigerian Community in Greece, Fotelli Peace, Board Member of PSYPERT, Union of Public TV employees, Albanian Federation of Associations in Greece, Anne Nielsen, President of SOS mod racism (Denmark), Lena Divani, Writer, Associate Professor of Foreign Policy at the Law School of Athens, Union of Sierra Leone in Greece, Makis Kavouriaris, Professor, President of the Greek Students’ Association 1967-74, Association of the Moroccan Community in Greece,Aldo Merkoci, Director of Mjaft ! Movement (Albania), Tasos Karasavvoglou, Professor, TEI Kavala, Organization of United African Women, Bangladesh Community in Greece,Miroslav Broz, President of Konexe & Anna Sabatova, President of the Czech Helsinki Committee (Czech Republic), Bulgarian Cultural Center, Orpheus – Hellenic Moldovan Association, Alma Masic, Director of Youth Initiative for Human Rights (Bosnia), Kyrkos Doxiadis, Professor of Social Theory at the University of Athens, Syrians Overseas Association of Greece, Afghan-Greek Community, Krassimir Kanev, President of the Bulgarian Helsinki Committee & Deyan Kolev, President of the Roma Center Amalipe for interethnic dialogue and tolerance (Bulgaria), Nikos Theotokas, Professor at the Panteion University, Rosofilon Trikala – Association of Russian-speaking in Greece, Vasilis Sylaidis, Member of the Athens Labor Center EKA, Land of the Stork – Ukrainian Community in Greece, Claudia Schäfer, COE of ZARA & Alexander Pollak, President of SOS Mitmensch (Austria), Hellenic Pakistani Association of Greece, Greek-Sudanese Friendship Association, Anhelita Kamenska, Director of the Latvian Center for Human Rights (Latvia), Fotini Assimakopoulou, History Professor at the University of Athens, Society of Arab Maghreb in Crete, Tziva Emy, Union of Bank Employees, Union of Palestinian Workers in Greece, Maria Velliou, Galerist, Congolese Community of Greece, Mario Mazic, Director of Youth Initiative for Human Rights (Croatia),Thalia Dragonas, Professor of Social Psychology at the University of Athens, Somali Community in Greece, Koukalani Vasilis, Director-Actor, Ethiopian Workers Union, Hristo Ivanovski, President of the Alliance for Human Rights in Macedonia, Maria Giannisopoulou, Social Anthropologist, University of Crete, Libyan Community in Greece, Dimitri Zotos, Lawyer, Madagascar Informal Group, Vanu Jereghi, Director of the Moldovan Institute for Human Rights (Moldova), Thanassis Kourkoulas, Sunday School, Georgios Stamelos, Professor at the University of Patras, Raba Gjoshi, Director of Youth Initiative for Human Rights – Kosovo, Evi Manopoulou, High School Modern Literature and Classics Teacher, Berezka Cultural Association, Theofilos Saltsides, Union of Employees of TAPA, Ministry of Culture,“Mother Teresa” – Association of Albanian migrants, Boris Raonic, President of Civic Alliance (Montenegro), Charalambos Kasimis, Professor, Department of Agricultural Economics & Rural Development, Agricultural University of Athens, Alien Migrant Association Karditsa,Network of Migrant Women of Nothern Greece, Irena Bihariova, President of Ludia Proti Rasizmu (Slovakia), Kostas Magos, Lecturer, University of Thessaly, Arberia – Association of Albanian Migrants Larissa Prefecture, Greek-American Democratic Union, Zola Kundur, President of Chiricli (Ukraine), Stavroula Lykogianni, Lecturer in National Technical University oh Athens (NTUA), The Council for Ethnic Minorities of Denmark, Katerina Trimi, Historian, Athens, René Danen, President of Nederland Bekent Kleur (Netherlands), Danielle Morichon, Professor & Translator, Bundesarbeitsgemeinschaft der Immigrantenverbande in Deutschland (BAGIV) – (Germany), Sia Anagnostopoulou, Associate professor at the Panteion University in Athens, Merle Haruoja, Board Member of the Estonian Institute for Human Rights,Panagiotis Kanellopoulos, Associate Professor of Music Education, Department of Early Childhood Education, School of the Humanities, University of Thessaly, Minderhedenforum (Belgium), Loukia Mano – Christidi, Civil Servant, Anita Ramsak, Director of the Ekvilib Institute, Chari Alexaki, EFL + Drama and the Creative Arts in Education teacher, , Despina Karakatsani, Assistant Professor Department of Social and Educational Policy, University of Peloponnese, National Consultation on Minorities (Netherlands), Mariam Osman Sherifay, President of SOS Mot Rasism (Sweden), Evi Gheorvassaki, Chemist, Doctor in biology, secondary education teacher, Nikolas Tsaftaridis, Music Teacher, Department of Early Childhood Education, University of Athens, Grigoris Ananiadis, Associate Professor, Panteion University, Athens, Balias Efstathios, Associate professor at the University of Patras, Tasos Karasavvoglou, Professor at the TEI Kavala, Georgios Agelopoulos, Assistant Professor at the University of Macedonia, Thessaloniki, Maria Dermitzaki, artist, Vassilis Pesmazoglou, Assistant Professor at the University of Peloponnese, Anastasia Dimitriou, Teacher in a public elementary school of Athens, Athina Gotsi, Teacher preschool education at the Ministry of Education, Byron Kotzamanis, University of Thessaly – Department. of Planning and Regional Development Laboratory of Demographic and Social Analyses (LDSA), Christina Agriantoni, Historian, University of Thessaly, Athena Athanasiou, Associate Professor, Panteion University, Tatiana Koutsougera, Physical Educator at the Ministry of Education, Elpida Rikou, Teaching Anthropology of Art in the Department of Theory and History of Art, Athens School of Fine Arts. Kallirroe Linardou, Lecturer in Byzantine Art, Department of Theory and History of Art, Athens School of Fine Arts, Anna Triandafyllidou, European University Institute, Florence, Italy & Senior Fellow, ELIAMEP, Athens, Antoniou Evangelia, Lecturer at the University of Athens, Yannis Papadopoulos, Adjunct Professor, Panteion University, Dimitris Parsanoglou, Sociologist, Centre for Gender Studies-Panteion University of Social and Political Sciences,Sfingos Dimitris, Musician, Michael Fefes, Lecturer, University of Peloponnese, Panos Hatziprokopiou, Research Fellow, ELIAMEP, Associate Professor, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Ikaros Mantouvalos, Lecturer of Modern Greek Social History, Democritus University of Thrace, Despina Andropoulou, Psychologist, Anastasia Georgiou, Research Associate of the Greek Forum of Migrants, Nikolaos Kourachanis, PhD Student, University of the Peloponnese, Gabriele Wendt, ex Assistant, European Community, Thanos Christidis, EU pensioneer, Elli Droulia, Library of the Hellenic Parliament, Nikos Tzanakis Papadakis, postgraduate Student at the Free University of Berlin, Saeed Paivandi, Professor of Sciences of Education, Université de Lorraine – Nancy 2, Anna Manoussopoulou, Official, European Commission, Koralia Agapitou, Teacher, preschool education at the Ministry of education,Michele De Trucco, Editor and video artist, Alice Sotgia, Post doc (Sapienza Università di Roma), Ifigeneia Kokkali, PhD at University Paris-Est & Institut d’Etudes Démographiques de l’Université Bordeaux IV, Anthi Karra, translator at the Council of the EU, Eleni Varikas, Professeure Émérite au Centre de Recherche Sociologiques et Politiques de Paris, Baltsavia Ismini, Student, Aristoteles University of Thessaloniki, Bouras Dimitrios, Welder – Private sector, Michael Löwy, Emerited research director in social sciences, CNRS (French National Center for Scientific Research), Ismini Paraskevopoulou, Civil engineer, Maria Pallas, Teacher, Experimental High School of Saloniki, Dora Tsirepa, Full time housewife, Boura Evangelia, Student in the Master French-Hellenic Podepro, Bordeaux University, Rempis Nikolaos, Student (Master 2), Univ. Bordeaux University, Paschalidis Adamantios, Freelancer, Stavros Moutsios, Associate Professor, Aarhus University, Marcella Milana, Ph.D., Associate professor, Department of Education, Aarhus University, Nadina Christopoulou, Anthropologist, General Secretary of the board of the Greek Council for Refugees, Vassia Karkayanni Karabelia, Historian and art critic, history of art and Neo-Hellenic civilization professor, Mariangela Veikou, University of Peloponnese, Georgia Bechlivanou Moreau, Lawyer, Human Rights specialist, Hans Vermeulen, Professor emeritus University of Amsterdam, Glyn Ford MEP , Chair European Parliament’s Committee of Inquiry into Growth of Racism and Fascism in Europe (1984-2009), Bruno Losito, Associate professor at Roma Tre University, Nikos Economopoulos, photographer, Magnum, Thanos Maroukis, Researcher, University of Bath (UK) and Research Associate, ELIAMEP (Athens), Sotiris Walldén, Université Libre de Bruxelles, Norm R. Allen Jr., Secretary at the Institute for Science and Human Values (USA),Ruth Wodak, PhD. Dr. Habil, Distinguished Professor, Department of Linguistics and English Language, Lancaster University, Hazara People International Network, Georgia Bechlivanou Moreau, member of the Greek Initiative in Paris, Human Rights Specialist, Centre for Research of Women’s Issues, Sophie in ‘t Veld (Member of the European Parliament, the Netherlands, SD), Ofer Bronchtein, President of the Peace Forum, Greek Centre for Research of Women’s Issues, Daniela Grabovac, Member of the Antidiscrimination office Styria (Austria), Ioanna Babassika, President of the METAction-Action for migration and Development, Jonathan Hayoun, President of the French Union of Jewish Students (UEJF), Cindy Pétrieux, President of the French student union Students confederation, Benny Andersen, contemporary Danish poet, author and song writer, Nikos Chrysogelos, MEP (Greece, The Green/EFA), Niels Johnsen, Pensioner, Ruth Christensen, Farmer, Justin Ajufo, Veterinarian, Marianne Olsen, Senior Master, Laila Bacher, Pensioner, Jørgen Pallesen, Psychologist, Niels Thure Krarup, Journalist, Editor, Steen Schultz-Petersen, Senior Master, Hanne Macsay, Pensioner, Helle Nielsen, Birthe Højby Nielsen, Senior Master, Vita Andersen, Librarian, Jørgen Bing, Actor and town Concillor, Ulla Frøsig, Senior Master, Viveca Sjöberg, Interior Designer, Jørgen Kirkegaard, Senior Master, Kirsten Kirkegaard, Senior Master, Benno Arndt, Journalist, Lis Gilager, Teacher, Helge Olesen, Senior Advisor, Maj Rørdam Nielsen, Student, Antinazi Initiative,OAKKE – Organisation for the construction of the Communist Party of Greece, Vicky Skoumbi, Editor-in-Chief of the Greek revue αληthεια, co-initiator of the call “Let’s save the Greek people from its savers !”,…
Supported by Greek political parties : Pasok, Syriza, Democratic Left, the Greens, Drassi,…