The European Parliament is concerned by the increasing normalization of fascism, racism and xenophobia and calls on EU member states to ban neo-fascist and neo-Nazi groups.
In a resolution passed with 355 votes to 90 and 39 abstentions, MEPs denounce that the lack of serious action against these groups has enabled the current xenophobic surge in Europe. The text mentions the attack that killed 77 people in Norway in 2011, the murder of UK MP Jo Cox in 2016 and the attack by fascist squads in Italy against MEP Eleonora Forenza in September.
It also refers to several incidents involving fascists in Poland, Greece, Italy, Germany, France, Spain, Latvia and the Nordic countries.
With regards to Greece, the resolution mentions:
- the trial of the neo-Nazi party Golden Dawn, on charges of being a criminal organisation and of the assassination of Pavlos Fyssas, among other crimes, including attempted murder, is still ongoing in Greece;
- Greece has seen a rise in far-right attacks against social centres, activists, members of parliament, refugees, migrants and lawyers, including against the lawyer of the Fyssas family; whereas the Racist Violence Recording Network (RVRN) documented in 2017, through interviews with victims, 102 incidents of violence against refugees, immigrants, members of the LGBTQI community and their defenders;
- on 21 September 2018 LGBTQI activist Zak Kostopoulos was brutally assassinated in the centre of Athens; whereas one of the accused is allegedly related to extreme-right forces; the Ministry of Public Order and the Greek police ordered a disciplinary investigation against several policemen after a new video revealed acts of violence against a man lying motionless and wounded on the ground; several media outlets have engaged in discriminatory and insulting speech against the victim following his death and extreme-right groups demonstrated with homophobic and violent slogans at the place of his death
The resolution text was drafted by all political fractions Socialists (S&D), the Left (GUE/NGL), the Greens (VERTS/ALE), Popular Party (EPP), Liberals (EFDD) except the conservatives (ECR) and the far-right-wing.
Ban all organisations glorifying fascism
MEPs argue that the impunity enjoyed by far-right organisations in some member states is one of the reasons behind the rise in violent actions, affecting society as a whole and targeting particular minorities such as black Europeans/people of African descent, Jews, Muslims, Roma, non-EU nationals, LGBTI people, and persons with disabilities.
They propose setting up anti-hate crime units in police forces to ensure these crimes are investigated and prosecuted. They also urge national authorities to “effectively ban neo-fascist and neo-Nazi groups and any other foundation or association that exalts and glorifies Nazism and fascism”.
End collusion with neo-fascists
Troubled by reports of collusion between political leaders, political parties and law enforcement with neo-fascists and neo-Nazis in some member states, Parliament calls on the member states to “clearly condemn and sanction” hate crime, hate speech and scapegoating by politicians and public officials, as they directly normalise and reinforce hatred and violence.
Measures are also necessary to counteract the spread of racism, fascism and xenophobia through the internet, in cooperation with social media companies.
Stop racism in sport and help members of fascist groups who want to leave
The resolution demands that member states and national sports federations, in particular football clubs, counteract the scourge of racism, fascism and xenophobia in stadiums and in sports culture by condemning and punishing those responsible and by promoting positive educational activities targeting young fans, in cooperation with schools and civil society organisations .
EU countries should also set up “exit programmes” to help individuals to leave violent neo-fascist and neo-Nazi groups. MEPs stress the importance of education, to increase history awareness among the youth and call for a clear rejection of the fascist crimes of the past. They underline that the truth about the Holocaust must not be trivialised.
Full EP Resolution here