Saturday, February 25, 2012

Greece: New Democracy Party Leader Reaffirms Opposition to Anti-Semitism, Holocaust Denial

SOURCE American Jewish Committee

AJC, concerned about the recent inclusion of two anti-Semitic politicians in Nea Dimokratia (New Democracy), one of Greece's leading political parties, is gratified that party leader Antonis Samaras has reaffirmed his party's firm opposition to any expression of anti-Semitism or racism.

The two controversial politicians, Makis Voridis and Adonis Georgiadis, recently resigned from the far-right Popular Orthodox Rally, or LAOS, and plan to run as Nea Dimokratia candidates in April's elections.

Samaras, in an email to AJC, stressed that Nea Dimokratia's core values – total opposition to racism, anti-Semitism and Holocaust denial – remain unshakeable.

"We welcome the reaffirmation from Antonis Samaras of his party's foundational values," said AJC Executive Director David Harris. AJC first met Samaras over 20 years ago when he was foreign minister of Greece and has stayed in touch with him since.

"It is deep in the ideological DNA of the Greek society and, of course, Nea Dimokratia, to categorically oppose racism in all its forms, to strenuously oppose anti-Semitism and to strongly oppose all Holocaust denial," Samaras wrote to AJC. "As a matter of fact, these are more than party core values. These are deeply-rooted cultural premises, shared by the Greek people as a whole, from generation to generation.

"Today, there are hundreds of families in Greece, taking pride for rescuing Greek Jews during the Nazi occupation of our country. I know well since my family is one of them. And this tradition of pride is shared by people from all walks of life and of all political affiliations."