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Anti-racism bill goes back to Parliament

An anti-racism bill, foreseeing stiffer penalties for individuals and political parties that engage in racism or incite racist violence, is to be debated in Parliament on Tuesday following months of delays amid objections to its provisions, chiefly by conservative lawmakers.

The bill foresees prison sentences of up to three years and large financial penalties for inciting racist attacks. Those praising the Holocaust and any cases of genocide which have been recognized by international courts or decisions in the Greek Parliament – including the Holocaust, the mass killing of Christians in Asia Minor between 1908 and 1922, and the killing of Black Sea Greeks – will also face prison time and heavy penalties.

But the provisions of the bill set certain limits, noting that punishment is reserved for those deemed to act maliciously, not those setting out scientific or historical arguments for instance.

Commenting on the bill the night before its unveiling, Justice Minister Haralambos Athanasiou told Kathimerini that it “offers Greek society and democracy a modern and comprehensive shield against racist phenomena, xenophobia and bigotry.”

ekathimerini.com , Monday September 1, 2014 (20:29)  
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