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30 Jan, 2020 14:14

Athens & Ankara issue scathing condemnations after neo-Nazi Greek MEP tears up Turkish flag

Athens & Ankara issue scathing condemnations after neo-Nazi Greek MEP tears up Turkish flag

A Greek neo-Nazi lawmaker who tore up a Turkish flag during a debate in the European Parliament has faced condemnation from both Athens and Ankara, in a rare show of solidarity between the two bitter rivals.

While Greece and Turkey squabble over maritime and security agreements with Libya, the decades-old rivals were able to find common ground in their mutual disapproval of independent MEP Yannis Lagos. The far-right firebrand, who leads an offshoot of the infamous neo-Nazi party Golden Dawn, tore up a paper Turkish flag and blamed Ankara for Europe’s migrant crisis while addressing the European Parliament on Wednesday.
Accusing Turkey of “getting away with whatever it likes,” he claimed that the migrant crisis in Greece was “dire” and depriving Greeks of their “homeland.”

“Here we have the Turkish flag… What can you do with this flag? Well, you can tear it up,” Lagos said during his incendiary remarks before the chamber.

Responding to the incident, Greece’s Foreign Ministry said that it condemned Lagos’s actions, describing the stunt as a “departure from Greek and European traditions” that served as a neo-Nazi publicity stunt.

“Neo-Nazis speak only for themselves,” the ministry stressed.

Ankara was similarly outraged. Without referring to Lagos by name, Turkey’s Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu slammed “Europe’s spoiled and racist children” and demanded that Europe “put an end to racism and animosity against Islam.” He also called on the European Parliament to take “necessary measures against this clown.”

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