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Greece suspends state funding to far-right Golden Dawn party

Greek lawmakers have voted to suspend state funding for political parties accused of criminal or terrorist offenses. The measure is part of a crackdown on the country's far-right Golden Dawn party.

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Greece cuts Golden Dawn funds

The measure, passed late Tuesday by 235 lawmakers in the 300-seat parliament, freezes funding for parties whose leadership is accused of involvement in a criminal group or terrorism.

Golden Dawn lawmakers abstained from voting and called the move "unconstitutional."

The measure says state funding is suspended "to a party where the leader... or a tenth of the elected members are under investigation for constituting or participating in a criminal organizaton."

The extreme-right Golden Dawn party is under investigation for criminal and terrorist activities following the September 18 fatal stabbing of anti-fascist Greek rapper Pavlos Fyssas, which was claimed by a party sympathizer. The killing sparked protests that forced the government to crack down on the party.

Party leaders have not been directly charged in connection with the killing and have denied any wrongdoing. However, authorities have jailed the party's leader and two of its lawmakers in pre-trial custody on charges of running a criminal organization. Last week, another six lawmakers were stripped of their parliamentary immunity.

Golden Dawn emerged from Greece's 2012 elections with about 7 percent of the vote and 18 places in the 300-seat parliament.

hc/av (AFP, AP, dpa)

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