AHEPA Deeply Concerned about Rise of Extremism in Greece
Strongly Denounces Establishment of Neo-Nazi Party Branch in New York City
WASHINGTON - Supreme President Dr. John Grossomanides has issued the following statement on the reported rise of extremism in Greece in recent months and its established presence in the United States:
"The American Hellenic Educational Progressive Association, founded ninety years ago to protect and guard individuals from the evils of bigotry and discrimination in the United States, is deeply concerned about the rise of extremism in Greece as reported by several prominent Greek media outlets in recent months.
"In fact, the rise of extremism has drawn the attention of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, who stated she was worried about 'violent xenophobic attacks' upon migrants, refugees and asylum seekers in Greece. Paramilitary-like tactics perpetrated upon any individuals of a free society is alarming.
"We furthermore strongly denounce and reject resoundingly the establishment of a branch of the Neo-Nazi party, Golden Dawn, in New York City. Fascism has no place in the United States, whose citizens, including many Greek Americans and Ahepans, fought and sacrificed to defeat Fascism in Nazi-occupied Greece during World War Two.
"We understand this is a difficult time for Greece and its people as austere economic measures and severe public sector reforms are implemented. However, extremism and uncivil disobedience are not the solutions. They are not what Greece needs at a time when assistance is required from the global community and when society must come together to overcome what is perhaps its most trying and unprecedented challenge in its modern history.
"Simply stated, such rhetoric and acts conducted by extremists on both the right and left are unacceptable and deeply concern us as a community and as Ahepans. These are similar to the types of incidents experienced by our immigrant forebears a century ago.
"Therefore, Justice Minister Antonis Roupakiotis' condemnation of expressions of violence or hatred, whether directed against migrants or against Greek citizens, is welcomed by AHEPA."
AHEPA is the largest Greek-American association in the world with chapters in the United States, Canada, Greece, Cyprus, and sister chapters in Australia and New Zealand. It was established in 1922 by visionary Greek Americans to protect Hellenes from prejudice originating from the KKK, and in its history, AHEPA joined with the NAACP and B'nai B'rith International to fight discrimination.
The mission of the AHEPA family is to promote the ancient Greek ideals of education, philanthropy, civic responsibility and family and individual excellence through community service and volunteerism.
For more information about the AHEPA family, or how to join, please contact AHEPA Headquarters, (202) 232-6300, or visit www.ahepa.org. To learn more about the AHEPA National Educational Foundation, please visit www.ahepa.org/education.