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Greece's Golden Dawn Says Holocaust Day is 'Unacceptable'

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By Gianluca Mezzofiore | February 19, 2013 11:32 PM EST

Greece's neo-Nazi Golden Dawn party has slammed the country's decision to mark international Holocaust Remembrance Day as unacceptable.

Ioannis Lagos, an MP for the far-right party, challenged the country's education and interior ministers over state institutions and schools commemorating the genocide of Jews at the hands of Adolf Hitler's Nazis. Holocaust Remembrance Day is on 27 January.

"We have received complaints that on this day, in Greek schools, texts are read which praise the Jews and at the same time portray them as heroes," Lagos said.

"Given that at the same time Greek children are completely ignorant of important moments in Greek history and of the real holocausts and heroes of the Greeks, we find it unacceptable that they are taught about the Jewish Holocaust in detail."

In a separate statement, Golden Dawn accused the Greek government of being "the pawn of international Zionism" and of colluding with Israeli and American Jewish groups.

It said that Athens had abandoned Syria's "legitimate leader, Bashar al-Assad" and supported "the murderers of the Syrian opposition". It was acting, said Golden Dawn, on the instructions of "American-Zionist war hawks".

Media blackout

In a separate development, the media blacked out transmission for 24 hours in protest against austerity measures as French president Francois Hollande arrived in Athens for talks.

Hollande was meeting Prime Minister Antonis Samaras and cabinet members to discuss Greece's deepening financial crisis.

Government spokesman Simos Kedikoglu accused the main opposition party, Syriza, of being responsible.

"The journalists' union leadership succumbed to the usual party aims and Syriza's plan to cause a media blackout during the visit of French president Francois Hollande," he said. "[The opposition party] does not hesitate to damage the country's international image."

The French leader arrived in Greece with a "message of confidence and backing", his office said.

The strike will be followed by a 24-hour general strike which will see all services disrupted across the country. It was called by two of the biggest unions. Transport services in Athens will be available to people travelling to protest rallies and hospitals will be open with reduced staffing.

The media in Greece has lost an estimated 3,000 jobs in the last three years.

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