Greek minister resigns amid anti-Semitism row

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Greek minister resigns amid anti-Semitism row

Greek politician Dimitris Kammenos
Greek politician Dimitris Kammenos
Greek politician Dimitris Kammenos
Greek politician Dimitris Kammenos

A Greek cabinet minister whose allegedly anti-Semitic Tweets contained the claim that no Jews went to work in the World Trade Centre on 9/11 has resigned just hours after taking up his post.

Right-wing politician Dimitris Kammenos had been appointed to a junior role in the transport ministry by Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, who returned to power as part of a coalition government with the nationalist Independent Greeks after a general election earlier this week.

Anti-semitic, racist and homophobic tweets posted by an account registered to Kammenos – since deleted – have been catalogued online by The Greek Analyst news service.

They include a Tweet from 11th September 2013 which reads: “Don’t forget, no Jew went to work this day out of the 2,500 working in [the World Trade Centre].”

In another incident in April this year, he responded to a Tweet about rising numbers of recorded attacks against Jews from news channel Russia Today with the reply: “Have you recorded the attacks of the Jews against all of us?”

A post on Kammenos’ Facebook page this summer included an image of the entrance to Auschwitz superimposed with the words: “We will stay in Europe”.

It was blasted as a “hideous attempt to trivialise” the Shoah by members of the Greek Jewish community, despite the politician claiming the controversy it caused was the result of a misunderstanding .

Kamennos has been accused of trivialising the Shoah on social media in the past
Kamennos has been accused of trivialising the Shoah on social media in the past

In other posts, the former minister, 49, is said to have complained that neo-Nazi party Golden Dawn did not respond adequately to a “disgraceful gay parade”, and questioned whether the MH17 air disaster could have been a “9/11 conspiracy”.

His elevation to the cabinet immediately provoked controversy in Greece.

A spokesman for opposition party PASOK said: “Instead of turning its back on the past, the government is legitimising racism and anti-semitism.”

In a statement, Kamennos claimed he condemned all forms of discrimination.

He said: “I am opposed to any related posts which were perceived or were insulting to groups of fellow citizens.

“With this statement, I want to personally apologise to anyone disturbed and categorically condemn racism, homophobia and anti-semitism.”

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