Greek Public Order Minister Nikos Dendias launched a thinly-veiled attack against Golden Dawn during an event at a police academy in Amydaleza, northwest of Athens, on Monday evening, decrying violent assaults against migrants by gangs believed to be affiliated with the far-right party.
The event at the police academy was also attended by Archbishop Ieronymos.
“We need the words of solace of Archbishop Ieronymos,” Dendias told the cadets, “and not the rhetoric and actions of hit squads that wear the mantle of Christianity to hide their deeply abhorrent and un-Christian face.”
The public order minister added that “the Greek police may have the sometimes unpleasant task of imposing the law, but no one has the right to usurp its duties or to commit acts of violence against our fellow men based on the color of their skin or on their religion.”
Dendias been criticized by rights groups saying that his ministry is not doing enough to curb a wave of racially-motivated attacks against migrants, amid allegations that Golden Dawn, which was voted into Parliament in June’s elections on a vitriolic anti-migrant platform, also has a strong following inside the ranks of the police.
Meanwhile, in an unrelated incident, unknown assailants detonated an explosive device outside Golden Dawn’s local branch in Kavala, northern Greece, in the early hours of Tuesday.
The gas-canister bomb caused some minor damage to the office building. No injuries were reported.