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Golden Dawn MP praises Hitler as a 'great personality'

Ilias Panagiotaros tells Australian TV that Greece is being overrun by 'jihadists'

In an interview with Australia's 60 Minutes newsmagazine, Ilias Panagiotaros said Hitler was a 'great personality' who was prepared to do the dirty work

Golden Dawn MP Ilias Panagiotaros shouts at members of the press outside the Evelpidon courts complex in Athens, 2 October 2013 (AFP) Golden Dawn MP Ilias Panagiotaros shouts at members of the press outside the Evelpidon courts complex in Athens, 2 October 2013 (AFP) German Nazi leader Adolf Hitler was a "great personality" who did what had to be done, a leading neonazi Golden Dawn MP has told Australian television.

In an interview with 60 Minutes newsmagazine, which aired on Nine Network on April 10, Ilias Panagiotaros said Hitler was a "great personality, like Stalin", adding that "in every period of time, there must be, there are some people who are doing the dirty job".

Panagiotaros, described in the report as a "neighbourhood bully" who made it into parliament, also said Greece was being overrun by "jihadists".

"It is an invasion. This is an undeclared war what's happening. We are a country of 10 million people maximum and we are facing an invasion of approximately 2 to 2.5 million, maybe 3 million, illegal immigrants, most of them being Muslims, jihadists, fanatical Muslims, not just Muslims," he told reporter Allison Langdon.

"If you talk about nation, it's one race. That's how God made earth," Panagiotaros continued.

The news programme described Golden Dawn as "the terrifying modern face of fascism" and said it was "spearheading the return of fascism across Europe". 

The MP also claimed that the party was not involved in vigilante attacks, despite all the evidence against it. "No. We haven't taken the law into our own hands. This is for sure. Because If we would have taken the law into our hands, trust me, we could have solved any problem in Greece," he said.

He also insisted on using derogatory terms to refer to Laertis Vasiliou, the director who in October 2012 tried to stage Terrence McNally’s play Corpus Christi, which portrays Jesus and the Disciples as gay and living in Texas. For days, Golden Dawn and religious fundamentalists violently prevented the performance from taking part. 

"He is an Albanian faggot. A stupid idiot," he said.

Pressed by the interviewer on whether that was appropriate way to talk about someone, Panagiotaros replied: "He is Albanian. He is a faggot. I didn't say a lie."

When asked about his views on homosexuality, Panagiotaros said; "Until 1997, international association of doctors, and I don't know what, considered homosexuality a sickness, illness, which it is." 

Describing his party as being in a war, he said: "It's extremely ugly, and sad, and tiring and everything. But we can't escape from this, we don't want to escape from this.

Expressing confidence that his party would win, he said: "In any case we are writing history."

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