Jewish organizations have expressed concern over the presence of an extreme-right anti-Semitic party in the new government of national unity in Greece.
The Greek new interim cabinet, led by Lucas Papademos, set up after the resignation of George Papandreou, held its first session on Friday after having been sworn in earlier in the day. It will have to roll out painful austerity measures to calm the
turmoil that threatens to bankrupt Greece and force it out of the euro zone.
“We are deeply concerned by the presence in the new unity government of the LAOS extreme-right, headed by Georgios Karatzaferis,” the American Jewish Committee (AJC) said.
According to reports, Karatzaferis, a tv-channel owner and former member of the European Parliament, has a record of outrageous statements about Jews, including spreading the libel that Jews were implicated in the 9/11 attacks by their
alleged absence from work that day.
He challenged the Israeli ambassador in Greece to come and debate on “the Holocaust, the Auschwitz and Dachau myth” and in 2001 he stated that “the Jews have no legitimacy to speak in Greece and provoke the political world. Their impudence
“We urge the new Greek leadership, understandably preoccupied with the economic crisis, not to permit any such expression of outright bigotry or anti-Semitism to emerge from its ranks,” the AJC said in a statement.
LAOS, the Popular Orthodox Rally, is an extreme right party established by Karatzaferis in 2000 which won 7% of the vote in the last general elections.
The party joined this week the unity government together with the Socialist PASOK party of Papandreou and the Conservative New Democracy party.
Two ministers of LAOS took ministerial posts. One of them Adonis Georgiadis, has in the past advertised and endorsed a controversial Greek book called “Jews: The Whole Truth” on his television show broadcast on LAOS’s leader tv channel.
The book has been described by the Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece (KIS) as a “defamatory, anti-Semitic book in which Jews are called ‘subhuman’ and are directly threatened with annihilation.”.
The American Jewish Committee has voiced its “admiration and respect” for outgoing Prime Minister Papandreou who, it said, “forged a warm link with neighboring Israel, which has accrued to the mutual benefit of both countries.”
(yourjewishnews.com / 13.11.2011)