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      Calls for Exclusively Greek Blood Drive Spark Outrage

      Greece’s neo-Nazi Golden Dawn party has, once again, made headlines for its racist policies by calling for an all-Greek blood bank.
      By Rachel Hirshfeld
      First Publish: 7/15/2012, 5:33 PM

      Greek flag
      Greek flag
      Israel news photo: Flash 90

      Greece’s neo-Nazi Golden Dawn party has, once again, made headlines for its blatantly racist policies by calling for an all-Greek blood bank.

      In the neighborhood of Loutsa, Golden Dawn members hung posters encouraging Greeks to donate their blood specifically for fellow Greek citizens. It was reported that several citizens donated blood at the local Sotiria hospital, requesting that their blood only be given to Greeks.

      The party released a statement saying “All the bottles of blood we collect will be handed over to patients we choose and to no one else. This right to choose belongs not just to Golden Dawn members, but to all volunteer blood donors.”

      Head of the hospital Yiannis Stefanou said that these requests would not be tolerated and asserted that all blood donations would be "available to any patient in need regardless of race, color, and party."

      The National Association of Hospital Doctors (EINAP) also issued a statement stressing that the “sacred character of the donation process and disposal of blood” must be safeguarded according to universal and international standards.

      The extreme-right political party has campaigned on an anti-immigrant platform under the slogan “so we can rid this land of filth.”

      Its leader has publicly claimed that Nazi concentration camps did not use ovens and gas chambers to exterminate the Jews during the Holocaust.

      Shortly after the party gained an electoral foothold in Greece’s Parliament earlier this summer, members riding motorbikes and armed with wooden poles drove through the suburb of Nikaia, The New York Times reported.

      “They said: ‘You’re the cause of Greece’s problems. You have seven days to close or we’ll burn your shop — and we’ll burn you,’” said Mohammed Irfan, a legal Pakistani immigrant who owns a hair salon and two other stores.

      A new report by Human Rights Watch warns that xenophobic violence has reached “alarming proportions” in parts of Greece, and it accuses the authorities of failing to stop the trend.

      The party claimed 18 of Parliament’s 300 seats in the elections last month, even after Ilias Kasidiaris, the party’s spokesman, repeatedly slapped a female rival during a televised debate.

      As Golden Dawn tries to expand its sphere of influence, many Greeks are becoming increasingly alarmed by the ultra-right ideology.