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Nation-wide organisations that express racist or xenophobic sentiments/discourse in the form either of hate speech or promote an anti-migrant and/or anti-minority agenda

Key Area:
Political Parties-organisations - Racist & Xenophobic Discourse
13/01/2012 - 03:40
Short Answer


Qualitative Info


The group receiving more publicity out of all far right groups is Ε.LΑ.Μ. (Ethnico Laiko Metopo-English: National Popular Front) [], perhaps due to the controversy it caused when it decided to contest the 2009 elections for the European Parliament and then the 2011 parliamentary elections in Cyprus, whilst at the same time linking itself with clearly fascist ideology and with racist crime. Although it failed to elect a member of parliament in either elections, ELAM received the largest percentage (1.08%) out of all parties that contested the election but did not elect a representative. Commentators at the time suggested that had ELAM elected a representative in parliament, it would have been forced to become more political and less criminal, whilst others suggested that had it elected a representative its fascist views would inevitably enter the political mainstream and be given prominence and publicity. ELAM members regularly parade the streets in black clothing and military formation, in traditional fascist tradition, chanting nationalist songs and smashing journalists’ cameras. Most of racial attacks carried out by or attributed by ELAM against migrants and Turkish Cypriots, are taking place in broad daylight and in front of dozens of witnesses. The attribution of racial attacks to ELAM is resented by another far right, KEA (Kinima Ellinikis Antistasis – in English: Movement of Greek Resistance) [] which opposes ELAM and claims a piece of the pie, claiming that ELAM appropriates the activities of KEA (such as the attack against an anti-racist festival in November 2010 and the stabbing of Turkish Cypriot) trying to make them appear as ELAM’s own activities. KEA is a self declared nationalist group which claims no links with Greece, but believes in union with Greece. They believe in ‘guidance of the Nation by the leading minority of the select few, the spiritual aristocracy of the Nation’. Like all other far right groups, they are focused on preventing a federal solution for Cyprus, on anti-Turkishness and on anti-immigration. They appear to be working in collaboration with Ε.F.Ε.Ν. (Εthniki Foni Ellinopsychon Neon- in English: National Voice of Greek-Souled Youth) [] which is active at the level of schools and has also been linked to racist crime. An attack against Turkish Cypriot students at a school in Nicosia in 2006 by a group of hooded youth holding bars, which received a lot of publicity as the first organized attack against Turkish Cypriots in decades, was attributed to EFEN. In 2007 two more far right groups emerged with a strong anti-immigration agenda, claiming that migrant flows into Cyprus were orchestrated by Turkey in an effort to change the demographic character: The “Movement of the Salvation of Cyprus” [Κίνηση για τη Σωτηρία της Κύπρου] and the “Movement for the European Future of Cyprus” [Την Κίνηση για το Ευρωπαϊκό Μέλλον της Κύπρου] both of which initially tried to distance themselves from the marginal fascist groups but subsequently joined ranks with some of them to stage mass anti-immigrant demonstrations in 2010 and 2011. These groups involve older and more prominent persons including various public figures such as a former ECHR judge, a former military officer and politicians from mainstream political parties. An attack against an anti-racist festival in November 2010, which took place in the process of an anti-immigrant march staged by these groups was headed by Zaharias Koulias, a MP of the centrist party DIKO who regularly expresses strong anti-immigrant sentiments. The list would not be complete without reference to the right wing football clubs such as APOEL and Apollonas, which are inter-connected with the fascist groups and have been repeatedly fined for racist behavior at the football pitch (see Trimikliniotis and Demetriou, Preventing racism, xenophobia and related intolerance in sport across the European Union, FRA RAXEN Thematic Study on Cyprus, March 2009)

Organisations ELAM, KEA, EFEN, Movement for the Salvation of Cyprus, Movement for the European Future of Cyprus
Size - Membership Unknown
Groups affected/interested Migrants, Refugees, Ethnic minorities
Type (R/D) Extremism - organised Racist Violence, Anti-migrant/xenophobia
Key socio-economic / Institutional Areas Political discourse -parties - orgs, Anti-racism
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