Is Greece just a bigot state, or a racist state too?

October 29, 2009

The US State Department released a new report on religious freedom in Greece. The religious intolerance exhibited by the Greek orthodox church is well known, but this report demonstrates that the state is also sinking to the same depths.

Another element that is perhaps new, is the apparent racism of the state, illustrated in the Plevris case. We read in the report that

The Greek Helsinki Monitor and the Central Board of Jewish Communities brought charges against the newspaper Eleftheros Kosmos and former Popular Orthodox Rally (LAOS) party candidate Kostas Plevris for racism and anti-Semitism. On December 4, 2007, Eleftheros Kosmos was acquitted, but the court convicted Plevris and sentenced him to a 14-month suspended sentence for inciting hatred and racial violence through his book The Jews–The Whole Truth. The book denied the Holocaust took place and called Jewish people “mortal enemies” and “subhuman.” Plevris appealed his sentence, and on March 27, 2009, an appeals court declared him innocent of all charges, concluding that the accused “did not aim at the Jews because of their racial and ethnic origin but, primarily, because of their pursuits [in seeking] world domination [and] the methods they use in order to fulfill their conspiratorial activity.”

The rational behind the acquittal buffles me. Does the Greek state say via her court that Jews pursue world domination using questionable methods? Is the Greek state still living in the 1930s, subscribing to canards that have been long debunked as hoaxes? And what does that “primarily” mean?

The LA.O.S. party (an acronym for Popular Orthodox Rally) that K. Plevris was standing for recorded fresh highs in the recent general election, with 5.63% of the vote. K. Plevris was not standing this time, but his son did, and was elected Member of Parliament in the district of Athens.

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