US State Department expressed concern about rising anti-Semitism and racism after the election of extreme-right Golden Dawn to the Greek Parliament in June 2012. In its annual report “International Religious Freedom for 2012”, released on May 20th 2013, the State Department notes among others that “immigrants and refugees fall victim of harassment and violent attacks”, while “some members of the Greek Orthodox Church support Golden Dawn”. It asks Greece to take measures.
Below some excerpts from the US State Department report on Greece:
The election of extreme right Golden Dawn members to Greece’s Parliament led to an increased expression of anti-Semitism in Greece in 2012.
Members of Golden Dawn, a political party openly espousing anti-Semitism and racism and linked to violent attacks against individuals perceived to be immigrants were elected to parliament.
The Greek government publicly condemned some anti-Semitic and racist incidents, though observers called on the authorities to do more to counter hate speech and the violent actions of Golden Dawn members.
There are reports of harassment and increasingly violent physical attacks against individuals perceived to be immigrants and refugees, many of whom were Muslim.
Expressions of anti-Semitism increased after voters elected members of Golden Dawn to parliament.
Golden Dawn’s official newspaper attacked the teaching of the Holocaust in schools and, on the occasion of a visit by the executive director of the American Jewish Committee, stated that the Jewish lobby and Zionism conspired against Greek wealth.
Some members of the Greek Orthodox clergy condemned violent attacks against immigrants, while others expressed their support for Golden Dawn.
Members of non-Orthodox religious groups reported incidents of societal discrimination. Members of the Muslim minority in Thrace were underrepresented in public sector employment, and no Muslim military personnel advanced to officer ranks.
The State Department notes also the lack of a mosque in Athens as well as the lack of an Islamic cemetery.
US State Department report on Greece here – ten pages on pdf