Greece's neo-Nazi Golden Dawn party (Chrysi Avgi) has set up an office in Montreal, in an effort to reach out to Greek citizens living abroad and widen its sphere of influence.
The party, which has become notorious for its blatant anti-Semitic and xenophobic rhetoric, also recently opened an office in New York City. It openly displays copies of “Mein Kampf,” as well as other works on Greek racial superiority at party headquarters.
Party leader Nikos Michaloliakos has denied that ovens and gas chambers were used in Nazi concentration camps exterminate Jews during the Holocaust.
The party campaigned under the slogan “So we can rid the land of filth” and holds frequent rallies, chanting “Foreigners out of Greece!”
Steven Slimovitch, spokesperson for the B'nai Brith Canada, which advocates against racism and anti-Semitism, said he wants the city's Hellenic community to take a stand.
"We trust the Hellenic community will come forward and do much like the Greek government has done and say that Golden Dawn party is not welcome, that they're a racist party, and they espouse racist views," said Slimovitch, according to CBC News.
He added that groups that espouse hate against other groups have no place on Canadian soil.
Ken Matziorinis, an economics professor at McGill University, attributed the party's popularity to the country's dire financial situation. Golden Dawn won 18 of Parliament’s 300 seats in Greece’s recent elections.
He said that the current situation is similar to the socio-economic turmoil that faced in Germany in the 1920s, which led to the rise of fascism and Nazism.