Greek Gov’t Aims to Cut Funding for Anti-Gay Golden Dawn Party
Greece’s government was submitting legislation to Parliament Monday aimed at cutting state funding to the extreme right-wing Golden Dawn party, whose leadership was arrested over the weekend on charges of acting as a criminal organization.
Under the legislation, state funding would be suspended for a party if any members of its leadership or lawmakers are being prosecuted for felonies. The government crackdown was sparked by the Sept. 17 fatal stabbing of Greek anti-fascist hip-hop singer Pavlos Fyssas, in an attack blamed on a Golden Dawn supporter.
The party has vehemently denied any involvement in the killing.
Golden Dawn, a formerly fringe nationalist group with neo-Nazi roots, enjoyed a meteoric rise in popularity during Greece’s financial crisis. With 18 lawmakers in the 300-member Parliament, it is slated to receive more than 873,000 euros ($1.18 million) in 2013.
"Democracy cannot fund its rivals," said Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Evangelos Venizelos. "Therefore when you have a criminal organization which is operating inside a political party, there must be sanctions regarding funding."
Under the new legislation, funding would be suspended pending the outcome of a trial, Venizelos said.