Spurning demands by the neo-Nazi Golden Dawn party that blood collected for hospital donations be given only to Greeks and not immigrants, hospital supervisors in Athens and Thessaloniki said it will go to whoever needs it, including blood from party members.
Golden dawn set up stalls in downtown Athens to distribute food and collect blood – for Greeks only – in an event organized to coincide with the Feast of the Exaltation of the Cross.
Press reports claimed that the blood would be delivered to Gennimatas General State Hospital in Athens. In July, a demand by the party to create a Greeks-only blood bank was flatly rejected by the authorities. The party’s website provided no details on where and how the blood would be used, but gave strong indications that it would go to Greeks only. But a a supervisor at Gennimatas Hopital in Athens told the Athens News that Golden Dawn cannot pick who gets the donations.
“The blood goes to whoever needs it,” Ekaterini Makri told the newspaper. “We can’t just save the blood. It goes off. There are no separate fridges for different associations.” Golden Dawn’s spokesman, Ilias Kasidiaris, who is also a Member of Parliament was among those who donated blood, in a health ministry mobile van.
Meanwhile, the Federation of Greek Hospital Doctors (OENGE) and the Thessaloniki Hospital Doctors Association (ENITH) condemned the blood drive as repulsive as it was based on racial discrimination and segregation. The bodies called on doctors to refuse to participate in the action.
Both federations demanded the cancellation of the blood bank initiative and invited state medical authorities and doctors not to participate. Parliament’s Ethics Committee condemned a string of violent acts committed by Golden Dawn deputies and supporters and called for the government to act swiftly in order to prevent similar incidents occurring in the future. The move came after Golden Dawn MPs and supporters attacked immigrant vendors in Rafina, northeast of Athens and Mesolongi, western Greece.
On the square, party activists distributed potatoes, onions, carrots, pasta, fresh milk, rice and fish only to Greeks, who were required to present IDs to prove their nationality. A brief statement on the party’s website claimed similar actions were taking place across the country.