Anti-racism bill to go to vote in late August after coalition reaches agreement

The two parties in the ruling coalition have reached an agreement on the provisions of a contentious anti-racism bill that has divided the government for a year-and-a-half, reports said on Tuesday, with a vote on the legislation expected on August 26 and 27.

According to a report in Ta Nea, the draft bill foresees stricter penalties for Holocaust deniers and jail sentences of up to three years for those found guilty of racially-motivated attacks. It also foresees better protection for homosexuals who fall victim to racist attacks.

The one issue that remains frozen for the moment is that of the extension of a cohabitation agreement, granting non-married couples greater rights, to same-sex partnerships. The issue has been put on hold despite dozens of appeals against it by homosexual pairs, one of which culminated in a conviction for Greece at the European Court of Human Rights. According to Ta Nea, the matter will be broached by junior coalition partner PASOK in a separate legislative amendment