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Athens mayor attacked after police stops Golden Dawn handout [update]

Members of Golden Dawn stand outside the party's headquarters near Larissis station Thursday.

Athens Mayor Giorgos Kaminis was on Thursday assaulted by a Golden Dawn deputy after authorities prevented the neo-fascist party from staging a food handout only for Greeks in the capital's central Syntagma Square.

Giorgos Germenis tried to hit Kaminis, who was at the time inside the premises of the municipality's social grocery handing out Easter candles to children, but was stopped by the mayor's security guards. A 12 year-old girl was injured in the attack, according to reports.

During the incident, Germenis tried to reach for his gun, a witness told journalists without identifying himself. Speaking to Vima FM, Kaminis confirmed the allegations.

Earlier on Thursday, Kaminis hailed authorities' efforts to prevent Golden Dawn handing out free food in Syntagma as a “victory for the democratic state.”

Police used tear gas to stop members of the far-right party from using the square. Golden Dawn eventually organized the handout at the party's headquarters near the central Larissis train station. Hundreds of people turned up as party members gave out meat and eggs.

“Syntagma Square will never be used again by anyone to hand out goods,” Kaminis told Skai TV adding that only the municipality can decide how it is used.

“Thuggery will not prevail in this city as long as I am mayor,” he said.

Golden Dawn announced on Wednesday its plans to hand out food in front of Parliament ahead of Orthodox Easter this weekend.

However, Kaminis responded by saying that the charity event was illegal as no permission had been sought from the City of Athens. The mayor said that he would not let the “hate-filled” event take place.

Last year, Golden Dawn held a similar event in Syntagma Square, where it asked to see people’s ID cards before giving them food to ensure that migrants did not receive any of the goods.

Kaminis said that he had warned then that he would not allow such events to take place again.

The mayor said that the City of Athens feeds about 9,000 people a day at soup kitchens.
 

ekathimerini.com , Thursday May 2, 2013 (13:29)  
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