Greece’s top court allows far-right party to contest EU vote


Greece’s Supreme Court on Sunday allowed the far-right Golden Dawn party to run in European elections this month, despite calls to ban it as its leader waits in jail to be tried for membership of a criminal organization.The court routinely permits parties to take part in elections but a private citizen had asked it to exclude Golden Dawn this time because its leadership is under investigation over a string of attacks against immigrants and opponents.Golden Dawn is expected to perform well due to a wave of anger against economic austerity – the price Greeks have paid for bailouts totaling 240 billion euros ($330 billion) from the European Union and International Monetary Fund to save the country from a debt crisis.The party is running between third and fifth in opinion polls, and a strong showing would pose a challenge to the fragile coalition government.Golden Dawn was among a list of 43 parties formally allowed by the court to stand in the May 25 vote, which coincides with Greek municipal elections.The party sports a swastika-like symbol and its members have been seen giving Nazi-style salutes. Golden Dawn, which rejects the label neo-Nazi, entered parliament for the first time in 2012, tapping into resentment against illegal immigrants and mass unemployment. The jobless rate still stands at nearly 28 percent.

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