PASOK, Democratic Left to submit anti-racism bill to Parliament

PASOK and Democratic Left, the junior parties in Greece’s conservative-led coalition government, said on Tuesday that they plan to submit to Parliament an anti-racism bill prepared by the Ministry of Justice.

The announcement came a day after a meeting among the three coalition leaders failed to yield a result, mainly due to objections from New Democracy.

In an interview with Vima FM on Tuesday, ND deputy Yiannis Michelakis said that his party will not vote for the bill adding that any such legislation was likely to bolster Greece’s far right Golden Dawn party.

“We must tackle extreme ideas and extremities. But do you really think these can best be curbed with laws and courts? Or with stronger ideas?” Michelakis said.

Meanwhile, in comments made Tuesday in Berlin, European Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom said that she expected to see the anti-racism bill tabled in Parliament despite the coalition’s failure to agree on its content.

Speaking at a discussion about the far right in Europe organized by the Friedrich Ebert Foundation in the German capital, Malmstrom acknowledged that the Greek government is taking some steps to counter the rise of the far right but said they are “not enough.”