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Wednesday, 18 May 2016 07:54

Athens Mayor Georgios Kaminis in an exclusive interview to Victor Eliezer for “Alef” magazine, edited by the Athens Jewish Community, (issue no 60), spoke about his clear stance against anti-Semitism and referred to pressing issues as the rise of neonazism. Some characteristic excerpts from the interview:  

Q: You recently signed the declaration of Mayors against anti-Semitism. Why did you decide to sign this petition? What made you think that Athens should join the network of cities that are against anti-Semitism?

A: It was self-evident that I should sign the Mayors’ declaration. Athens is a city of tolerance, a capital that shines at the fight against discriminations based on color, religious beliefs, or sexual orientation. This is our Municipality’s main principle. We have built a permanent front against intolerance, fanaticism and violence.

Q: Which do you think is the reason why ideas that adopt racism and xenophobia have been strengthened and spread among our society, nearly 70 years after Europe was done with Nazism?

A: Throughout modern history the main reasons for the strengthening of extreme tendencies are always poverty and misery, as well as the marginalization of several social groups, which are most affected by the financial and social crisis. For this reason, it is the duty of every public institution, such as Municipalities, to embrace the people that are most affected by the crisis, in order to avoid their embracement –for selfish reasons – by other organizations. The social structures of Athens supply with food and essentials more than 25.000 people in the city.

 Q: In the recent municipal elections the candidate of the neo-Nazi organization won 15% of the votes. Are you concerned about this shift of a large portion of citizens towards extreme positions?

Golden Dawn won its highest percentage of votes in the traditional middle class neighborhoods of Athens, such as Kypseli and Agios Panteleimonas, where more than a decade now the problems with immigrants have been harsh. As you might know, we face with great determination the phenomenon of extreme right’s violence.  As far as the rights of people who see their lives devaluate are concerned, the so called democratic spectrum has to be motivated and act with method and determination, in order to leave no space to the devotees of anti-parliamentarian organizations who prey in order to increase their own influence.

 Source: website of the Athens Jewish Community - Greek



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