Greek Neo-Nazi Party Provides Food Assistance- Only to Greeks
Members of the far-right Greek Golden Dawn party handed out free food outside Parliament on Wednesday, but restricted the handouts to Greek citizens only.
Hundreds stood in line at Athens’ main Syntagma Square, attempting to prove their Greek citizenship in order to receive the assistance, as the country’s poverty and unemployment rates continue to soar.
Party volunteers dressed in black passed out milk, pasta, potatoes and olive oil in a one-day charity event critics said was meant to soften the image of a party likened to neo-Nazi groups.
One woman in the queue told the BBC that the initiative made "Golden Dawn much more attractive".
Golden Dawn has become known for their vehement anti-immigrant and racist stance.
Golden Dawn spokesman Ilias Kasidiaris said the food came from Greek firms and Greek producers only. The party ignored a local authority ban on allowing the food handout in the square.
"Athens mayor Giorgos Kaminis does not mind when illegal immigrants and anarchists use the square," a party member told a Greek website, according the International Business Times.
Leader Nikolaos Michaloliakos rejected claims of affiliation with Nazism, despite the party’s emblem very closely resembling a swastika.
Michaloliakos made a Hitler-style salute when he was elected in 2010 to Athens city council. He has also denied that gas chambers were used in Nazi concentration camps in order to exterminate the Jewish people.