Bomb Hits Offices of Neo-Nazi Party in Athens

A bomb exploded outside the offices of the Greek neo-Nazi Golden Dawn party near Athens early Tuesday.

Rachel Hirshfeld ,

 Golden Dawn party leader Nikolaos Mihaloliak
Golden Dawn party leader Nikolaos Mihaloliak

A bomb exploded outside the offices of the Greek neo-Nazi Golden Dawn party near Athens early Tuesday, causing significant damage to the building but no injuries.

The explosion, caused by a home-made explosive device that appeared to contain dynamite, occurred before dawn at in the town of Aspropyrgos, authorities said.

The blast caused significant damage to a shop on the ground floor of the building and to the party offices on the first floor. It also blew out windows of several nearby stores, according to reports.

The party, which has become notorious for its blatant anti-Semitic, xenophobic and ultra-nationalistic rhetoric, advocates expelling all immigrants from the country and has campaigned under the slogan “So we can rid the land of filth.”

It openly displays copies of “Mein Kampf,” as well as other works on Greek racial superiority at party headquarters and has been responsible for perpetrating attacks on Jews and foreigners.

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

"There were no ovens — it's a lie. I believe it's a lie. There were no gas chambers either," Michaloliakos said in May.

The party rose to prominence in recent elections amid the country's deep economic crisis to win 18 seats in the 300-member parliament.

It has also been accused of demanding lists of foreign children who attend daycare or kindergarten schools, and of pressuring local businesses to fire foreign workers and hire Greeks instead.

Furthermore, the group recently held an all-Greek blood drive and released a statement at the time 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.”

The socialist party, one of the three parties in the governing coalition, along with other groups, has been calling recently for Golden Dawn to be outlawed.