“I have never been anti-Semitic,” Rural Development and Food Minister, Makis Voridis, said on Saturday, following reactions to his ministerial appointment by Jewish organizations in Greece and broad.
The General Secretary of the Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece (KIS), Victor Eliezer, has said that Voridis has “a dark past” and that he needs to “publicly to denounce his anti-Semitic past.”
“We cannot be particularly happy that Mr. Voridis was given a cabinet post as until today, he has never publicly renounced the Nazi ideas he represented, and the political alliances he kept,” Eliezer told 24/7 radio.
In a radio interview on Saturday, Voridis admitted though that he had for many years been a member of nationalist political parties and organizations and had “coexisted politically with people that had such unacceptable ideas.”
“To resolve any doubts, therefore, I denounce all action, omission or tolerance on my part to the act of a third party that might be interpreted as anti-Semitic or neo-nazi,” he stressed during the interview.
A day after Voridis was worn in, Israeli diplomatic sources said they will not work with Greece’s new Agricultural Development and Food because of his antisemitic past.
In his interview Voridis reaffirmed that he is loyalty to Israel and listed a series of actions he has supported in favor of the Israeli side, with one of them being “I am the only Greek politician that has written articles in support of transferring the Greek Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.“