It looks as if at the every end, all Greek parties will submit their own anti-racism legislation proposals, with the exception of extreme-right Golden Dawn, of course. Even the coalition government partners of prime minister Antonis Samaras were unable to agree on a single anti-racism bill. To be correct: the two partners of Samaras – PASOK and Democratic Left – agreed among themselves to submit a common proposal, while Samaras’ Nea Democratia presented anti-racism ideas of its own.
A third anti-racism proposal was presented also by main opposition party, left-wing SYRIZA.
While Greeks delay in the usual one-against-all way the European Commission and the Human Rights Watch increase pressure on Athens to crack down on racist assault.
The original anti-racism draft bill submitted by Justice Minister Antonis Roupakiotis (affiliated to Democratic Left) seems to have been buried under a hill of different approaches and opinions to the issue. Left-wing parties like SYRIZA and Communist KKE had criticized it, it would limit freedom of speech and it would eventually lead also to suppression of leftist groups.
Reportedly also the Church and the armed forces had raised objections. Now the proposal of Samara’s conservative party exempts the Church and the armed forces from prosecution and it does not ban the operation of parties whose members display racist behavior.
But the problem has deeper roots, as Greece struggles to deal with extremists of neo-nazi Golden Dawn. The government spokesman justified Samaras’ anti-racism proposals saying “it doesn’t help to criminalize the Golden Dawn. It has to be isolated.”
The opposition criticizes ND for trying to win voters from the GD front.
The next big issue to divide the coalition government parties is the new “citizenship legislation”.