Deputy Greek Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Evangelos Venizelos met with the Secretary General of the Council of Europe, Thorbjorn Jagland, in Athens on Wednesday. The chief of Europe's top human right agency visited Greece in view of the country's European Union presidency which will take place in the first semester of 2014.
In his statement to the press Foreign Minister Venizelos noted that Greece supported the Council of Europe’s initiatives and its role in preserving and supporting values such as peace, democracy and human rights.
Also speaking to the press Jagland noted that he was visiting Athens not to "impose anything on Greece," but to "discuss how we can work togehter on some of the challenges that the country is facing, in particular relating to extremism, xenophobic entities and also violent political action.”
The former Norwegian Prime Minister stated that he fully supported the line that the Greek government had taken to crack down on Golden Dawn.
“You cannot be allowed to commit crimes under the cover of a political ideology or a political party,” said Jagland, adding that he also welcomed discussion on how to modernise legislation related to hate speech, open racism and incitement to violence.