Riot police made limited use of tear gas at Syntagma Square on Thursday morning to prevent Golden Dawn members from organizing a “Greeks only” food handout.
The police were on the scene after Athens Mayor Giorgos Kaminis called Public Order Minister Nikos Dendias and asked him for law enforcement to intervene to prevent the far-right party from holding the event.
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.
The neofascist party responded late on Wednesday by arguing that agricultural producers often held similar events in the capital. It accused Kaminis of having been voted into power “with the votes of migrants.”