Golden Dawn Lawmaker Fined for Name-Calling in Greek Parliament

A lawmaker from Golden Dawn, Greece’s nationalist, anti-immigrant party, will forfeit one-quarter of her monthly salary after being censured today for using insulting language to describe Justice Minister Charalampos Athanassiou.

The penalty was invoked under a rule designed to uphold standards in lawmakers’ speech, and marked “the first time since at least the end of the military dictatorship in 1974 that the parliament’s regulation regarding the behavior of lawmakers has been implemented,” said Athanasios Papaioannou, parliament general secretary.

Parliamentarian Eleni Zaroulia used a word that translates as “bum” when talking about the justice minister today in a legislative session.

“Everyone can express and distribute orally, in writing and through the press their opinion, in abidance with the laws of the state,” Golden Dawn said in a statement responding to the penalty.

Six of 18 Golden Dawn lawmakers, including party leader Nikolaos Michaloliakos, are in prison pending trial on accusations over criminal activities. Investigations by Greek authorities into the party began when a 34-year-old man was stabbed to death by a Golden Dawn member Sept. 18.

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