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Hate speech bill delayed by Samaras' office

Prime minister's officials believe a number of bill's provisions could 'potentially cause problems'

The proposed law would outlaw incitement against people because of their race, religion, ethnicity or sexual orientation, and impose jail sentences of up to six years on offenders

Protesters carry a banner proclaiming "Fascism, never again!" at a recent demonstration in Athens Protesters carry a banner proclaiming "Fascism, never again!" at a recent demonstration in Athens A proposed hate-speech law has not yet been deposited in parliament for public consultation after the prime minister's office said a number of its provisions could "potentially cause problems".

The justice ministry bill has been delayed by government general secretary Takis Baltakos and State Minister Dimitris Stamatis.

The bill would outlaw incitement against people because of their race, religion, ethnicity or sexual orientation, and impose jail sentences of up to six years on offenders, according to reports.

MPs would not be excluded and parties that receive public funding would see it suspended if their leaders publicly denied the Holocaust, took part in racist attacks or used Nazi salutes or symbols in parliament.

The bill enjoys the support of most parties, with the exception of extreme rightwing Golden Dawn.

The Communist Party (KKE) has raised objections to the bill, claiming that it is part of a European Union-inspired attempt to equate fascism with communism and would be used to contain the "popular struggle". 

Earlier this week, the justice minister, Antonis Roupakiotis, had said that the bill would be sent to parliament by Friday May 10 for public consultation. He had expected it to be tabled in parliament by the end of the month.

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Politics
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Antonis Samaras
Antonis Roupaktiotis
Racism