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article imageGreece's Golden Dawn excluded from Council of Europe delegation

By Katerina Nikolas     Dec 19, 2012 in World
Greece's ultra-nationalist party Golden Dawn (Chrysi Avgi) is to be excluded from the Council of Europe delegation, following an agreement reached between Prime Minister Antonis Samaras and the president of the European Grassroots Anti-racist Movement.
The EU Delegation to the Council of Europe works to "promote and protect human rights, democratic values and the rule of law." Greece is currently represented in the delegation by Eleni Zaroulia, a Golden Dawn member of Parliament and wife of party leader Nikos Michaloliakos.
For several months the European Grassroots Anti-racist Movement (EGAM) have campaigned to have Golden Dawn excluded from the EU council. Their efforts culminated in a silent protest rally against racism and anti-fascism in Athens on Saturday.
The presence of Zaroulia in the EU delegation stoked controversy when she referred to immigrants as a "kind of sub-humans who have invaded our fatherland with the all sorts of diseases that they lug around."
Earlier this week Samaras met with EGAM president Benjamin Abtan. Neurope reported Samaras agreed to form a new Greek delegation to the EU council, excluding Golden Dawn. Abtan issued a statement saying: "Greece is now offering an example to the whole Europe of a country faced with the most violent social situation but whose leaders have decided to put the defense of democracy as a top priority."
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