NEWS

Anti-racism bill approved in principle, final vote Friday

An anti-racism bill introducing tougher penalties for individuals and political parties that engage in racism or incite racist violence and those who praise acts of genocide was approved in principle on Tuesday by Parliament’s summer session. A second vote on the bill’s articles is to be held on Friday.

The bill, passed after months of delays, foresees jail terms of up to three years and large fines for those that incite attacks against people based on their race or sexual orientation. Those who praise historical acts of genocide such as the Holocaust, the mass killing of Armenians, Christians in Asia Minor and Black Sea Greeks, face similar treatment.

But Justice Minister Haralambos Athanasiou rebuffed a demand by opposition parties, and some PASOK MPs, for the bill to include a provision extending a cohabitation pact, granting unmarried couples greater rights, to same-sex partnerships. He said the issue will be studied separately.

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