Anti-racism bill foreseeing tough penalties submitted to General Accounting Office

Justice Minister Haralambos Athanassiou on Friday submitted to the General Accounting Office an anti-racism bill that foresees tough penalties for racially-motivated crimes.

The bill, which is a combination of various proposals submitted to Parliament by different parties in recent months, is to be finalized and submitted to the House for approval in due course.

It foresees jail sentences of up to three years and financial penalties of up to 20,000 euros for incitement to racist attacks.

Similar penalties are foreseen for those who praise Nazism, the Holocaust and other internationally-recognized genocides which are criminalized by the bill.

One of the bill’s provisions foresees the suspension of state funding for political parties, unions and organizations whose members display racist behavior for up to six months. Also, if individuals are found to have incited to violence on behalf of an organization or for its benefit, the financial penalty can rise to 100,000 euros.

Another provision prohibits food handouts and other charity activities that discriminate against people based on their ethnic origin or skin color as with the “Greeks only” food distributions organized by the neofascist Golden Dawn.

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