The appointment late Tuesday of Dimitris Kammenos, an Independent Greeks MP who is accused of circulating antisemitic conspiracy theories, as deputy minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Networks ignited controversy that rippled through Greece’s social media.
In one of his tweets, Kammenos, better known in the Greek twittersphere by the handle @PortaPorta, suggests that the state of Israel was behind the terrorist attacks in the US in 2001, alleging that Jewish employees were forewarned to skip work at World Trade Center on September 11.
Kammenos was criticized in June by the Central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece (KIS), which called a Facebook post of his showing a doctored photograph of the entrance to the Auschwitz concentration camp “shameful” as it “trivializes in the most hideous way the sign over the gate of Auschwitz.”
The photograph showed the sign over the entrance reading “We’re staying in Europe” rather than “Arbeit macht frei.” “We’re staying in Europe” was the slogan used for pro-euro rallies in central Athens during the summer.
Independent Greeks distanced itself from the post and Kammenos apologized. He claimed there had been a “misunderstanding.”
“Maybe the comparison was unfortunate but my country is experiencing an economic holocaust,” he wrote on Facebook.
Kammenos has also been accused of writing tweets and Facebook posts that contain racist and homophobic comments. The account was deactivated after Kammenos, who is not related to Independent Greeks leader Panos Kammenos, was named as a member of the government.