Education Minister Nikos Filis found himself isolated and under attack Tuesday after becoming entangled in the issue of the slaughter of tens of thousands of Black Sea, or Pontic, Greeks by Turks almost a century ago and arguing that it was a case of ethnic cleansing rather than genocide.
Appearing on a late night TV show on Star on Monday, Filis defended previous comments he had made about the killings, arguing that he still believed they were a case of ethnic cleansing even though Greece has officially recognized it as genocide since 1994, designating May 19 an annual day of remembrance.
The other opposition parties also criticized the minister’s comments, with Golden Dawn claiming it will take legal action against Filis under an anti-racism law passed in September 2014, which criminalizes denial of historical acts of genocide, including that of the Black Sea Greeks, and leaves offenders facing up to three years in jail.
Greece 2015: The Nazis and Holocaust deniers of Golden Dawn party are presenting themselves as the defenders of persecuted minorities.
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