Despite the ban on all religious gatherings in Greece, due to the epidemic of Covid-19, supporters of the neo-Nazi Golden Dawn party attempted to organize a Good Friday procession. They found themselves facing the police.
According to the police, about 70 people gathered this Friday evening in front of the Greek Orthodox Church of Saint Nicholas, in Korydallos, a suburb of Athens, responding to a call launched online by Ilias Panagiotaros, a former deputy Golden dawn. Activists gathered demanded that priests complete the traditional candlelight procession through the streets.
The police tried to disperse them, but neo-Nazi sympathizers responded by throwing firecrackers. The police arrested 18 people.
Easter, the most celebrated religious holiday in Greece
Easter is the most celebrated religious holiday in Greece and churches usually record their peak attendance there. Authorities had banned church gatherings and traditional family gatherings during the festivities, warning of their possible dire consequences for the fight against the spread of the new coronavirus.
Police patrols had been specially deployed near churches and officers had been ordered to also be on the lookout for any large gatherings in gardens, balconies and roofs.
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Since March 12, Greece has registered 108 deaths from the new coronavirus. Unauthorized travel is punishable by a fine of 150 euros, which can be doubled if travel takes place outside the prefecture’s borders.