ANEL calls amendment for mosque ‘unacceptable and provocative’ [Update]

In the first sign of friction between coalition partners SYRIZA and Independent Greeks (ANEL), MPs of the populist right-wing party late Tuesday voted against an amendment regarding the construction of an mosque in the western Athens neighborhood of Votanikos.

The amendment, which was put to vote as part of an education bill, was backed by all parties except ANEL and Golden Dawn.

ANEL’s education spokeswoman Stavroula Xoulidou had called the amendment “unacceptable and provocative,” asking the government to withdraw it.

ANEL MPs also voted against a second amendment that would facilitate the operation of the Athens Concert Hall.

The amendment, which would exempt the organization from submitting insurance and tax clearance documents to the authorities, won backing from To Potami and PASOK. New Democracy and the Communist Party voted “present,” while ANEL and GD voted against.

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