Wiesenthal Centre to Greek Prime Minister:- "Desecration of Salonica Jewish Cemetery Coincides with Greek Financial Meltdown"

Paris, 14 May 2010

In a letter to the Greek Prime Minister, George Papandreou, the Simon Wiesenthal Centre's Director for International Relations, Dr.Shimon Samuels, expressed disgust at the desecration of the Jewish Cemetery of Thessaloniki (Salonica).

Samuels pointed out that "for five hundred years Salonica resonated and thrived through the contribution of its Jewish community. Deported to Auschwitz, Salonica today represents Jewish ghosts and graves".

The letter continued, "One can but note the timing of this outrage, in the wake of the Greek Supreme Court's ruling to endorse the acquittal of Kostas Plevris, for his neo-Nazi volume that calls for antisemitic violence.One can but note the timing that coincides with the Greek financial meltdown".

The Centre admonished, "it is time to advise the Greek people that your national economic crisis is a result of their own profligacy and not a Jewish conspiracy. It is time for a zero-tolerance policy for antisemitism and other forms of hate".

"Scapegoating will only bring to mind that 'xenophobia' is a Greek word," concluded Samuels.

For further information contact Shimon Samuels on 0033(0)609770158