Dendias Says Golden Dawn Could Be Banned

Greek Public Order Minister Nikos Dendias
Greek Public Order Minister Nikos Dendias

After the European Union’s human rights chief said that there’s enough evidence of violence being perpetrated by the neo-Nazi Golden Dawn party that has 18 seats in Parliament to outlaw the group, Public Order Minister Nikos Dendias said the government is looking into whether that could be done.

Speaking to Real News weekly, Dendias suggested that the next Parliament could approve such legislation as part of a constitutional review. “The constitutional review gives us the ability to exclude from the party system outgrowths such as Golden Dawn,” he said.

Golden Dawn, which rose from obscurity and 0.29 percent of the vote in 2009’s elections to entering Parliament and with polls placing it a firm third among major parties, said that Dendias was insulting its voters. The government had earlier said it could not prohibit a group that had legally won seats.

Golden Dawn that Prime Minister Antonis Samaras’ ruling New Democracy Conservatives and one of his coalition partners, the PASOK Socialists, should be banned for their involvement in countless scandals.

In April, the Council of Europe’s commissioner for human rights, Nils Muiznieks said that Greece must take tougher measures to combat a surge in racist violence that critics blame on the extremists, but which party leaders have denied.

He said that Greece would be “fully within its rights under international human rights law” to ban the party from public office, although he stopped stopped short of saying it should do so.