EU Commissioner Malmstrom expects Greek anti-racism bill soon [UPDATE]

European Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom has said that she expects the Greek government to submit to Parliament an anti-racism bill despite the coalition’s failure to agree on its content.

“During my visit to Athens last week, we discussed the bill,” she said at a discussion about the far right in Europe organized by the Friedrich Ebert Foundation in Berlin.

“From what I understood, the government aims to submit the bill soon. There have been delays for various reasons but it will be submitted to Parliament very soon. That is what they promised my and I hope it is proved correct.” Malmstrom also acknowledged that the government is taking some steps to counter the rise of the far right but said they are “not enough.”

A meeting between the leaders of the three coalition leaders on Monday afternoon failed to yield a result. New Democracy is reluctant to progress with the draft law, while PASOK and Democratic Left are adamant that it should be passed.

PASOK sources indicated on Tuesday that Yiannis Maniatis, the secretary of the party's parliamentary group, would ask Parliament Speaker Vangelis Meimarakis for approval to submit to the House PASOK's own anti-racism bill, unveiled on March 21.