Digital Journal: Greece’s Golden Dawn opens Canadian branch in Montreal. ‘Golden Dawn (Chrysi Avgi) the ultra-nationalist Greek political party that has recently soared in popularity, has now expanded its overseas branches, opening a chapter in Montreal, QC. With an established support base in both Melbourne and New York, Golden Dawn has now attracted a small following in Montreal.’
Comment – The Economist: Immigrants as scapegoats. ‘As Greece is forced to make more budget cuts, right-wing extremism is on the rise.’ ‘Nikos Dendias, the citizens’ protection minister, says that Golden Dawn’s storm-troopers will not be tolerated. Shopkeepers around Plateia Amerikis, where some immigrants run small businesses, are not convinced. “Racist violence is on the rise, and many people are in need of protection,” says Javed Aslam, a Pakistani community leader. Few immigrants trust the police any more.’
SE Times: Greece to crack down on hate crimes. ‘Reeling from an onslaught of assaults against immigrants — including by extremist group MPs — Athens is proposing to toughen penalties against hate crimes to include a minimum three-year prison sentence. Greece’s current guidelines do not have specific penalties for racial motives, which often result in suspended sentences or reduced jail time. But with human rights groups claiming the government has done too little to stop the surge in beatings, Justice Minister Antonis Roupakiotis said he will put judicial reforms before parliament.’
Politics.hu: Fidesz seeks to write voter registration into constitution. ‘Parliament’s constitutional committee on Wednesday proposed inserting a clause into Hungary’s constitution that would make voter pre-registration at elections compulsory.’ This decision is felt to be discriminatory and impractical by some, with Jobbik proposing it would ‘remove the 15-day limit for the pre-registration before the election, as originally proposed by the ruling Fidesz’.
The Guardian: Serbia’s gay pride gathering to take place indoors. ‘Serbia’s gay activists will hold an indoor gay pride gathering this weekend after authorities in Belgrade banned a march for the second year in a row, citing security concerns.’
Alaska Dispatch: European activists fight for gay pride parade in Belgrade. ‘Although Serbia has since become a democracy, life for the country’s LGBT community has changed very slowly since the authoritarian Slobodan Milosevic was ousted in 2000. Homophobia remains prevalent and violence common. “I feel like a stranger in this society,” Skundric says.’