[Marxism] Far - right festival in Greece
Dbachmozart at aol.com
Dbachmozart at aol.com
Wed Aug 10 21:45:03 MDT 2005
Far-Right Festival in Greece Will Proceed as Planned, Party Says
By _ANTHEE CARASSAVA_
Published: August 10, 2005
ATHENS, Aug. 9 - Greece's far-right party refused Tuesday to cancel a
September festival of European right-wing activists despite mounting opposition
from local authorities, Jewish groups and the Turkish government.
"We're determined to go ahead with it," said Dimitris Eleftheropoulos, a
spokesman for the Greek party Chryssi Avgi, or Golden Dawn. "No one can deny us
our democratic right to assemble in public."
Billed as Eurofest 2005 and backed by some of the Continent's leading
neo-Nazi groups, the event planned for Sept. 16 through 18 in southern Greece
promises a "unique gathering" including "racial rock music," and "inspiring
messages," according to the Chryssi Avgi Web site.
Members of the far right, including Udo Voigt, who leads the National
Democratic Party in Germany, and Roberto Fiore of the Italian party Forza Nuova are
set to address the crowds. Organizers said Tuesday that they were hoping for
a surprise appearance by Jean-Marie Le Pen, the French far-right leader who
once called the Nazi gas chambers a "mere detail" of history.
"We're not releasing any further information at this time," said Mr.
Eleftheropoulos, citing security concerns.
Tentatively set for Meligala, a sleepy hamlet 150 miles southwest of the
Greek capital, the festival is officially described by Chryssi Avgi as "a
camping trip to Hellas, land of the heroes."
The event coincides with one of Greece's grimmest anniversaries: the 1944
massacre of 1,400 women and children by Greek Communist insurgents in Meligala.
Organizers said the choice of dates for the event was intentional.
Local officials are enraged, and the town's mayor has vowed to block the
festival for fear of violence stemming from antiracism activists and anarchists
"For God's sake," said Mayor Eleni Aliferi, "our wounds from the civil war
have yet to heal."
Government and police officials privately denounce the event. But to ban it,
they say, may make the neo-Nazis into democratic martyrs.
Opponents, however, are calling for government action.
"This is hair-raising," said Moses Constantides, a Jewish leader.
"We've never seen any gathering of this scale being planned in Greece," he
said, referring to right-wing events.
Critics argue that the real goal of Eurofest 2005 is to foster hate and
racism and recruit a new following of far-right extremists in Europe.
In addition, they say, the event, with the call "Turkey, out of Europe" as
one of its main slogans, may spell trouble for Greece's shaky relations with
Last month, days after Chryssi Avgi began advertising Eurofest 2005 on its
Web site, officials in Ankara warned Athens that the gathering could spiral
into an anti-Turkish hate-fest weeks before the start of its crucial accession
talks with the European Union.
"At a time when Greece continues to support Turkey's bid to join the E.U.,
there would be problems if the said camp turned into an anti-Turkish platform,"
a senior Turkish official said.
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