The Australian branch of the far-right Greek political party Golden Dawn announced it has stopped a fundraising drive in Australia because of reactions against it. However, Golden Dawn has refused to rule out future fundraising activities.
Golden Dawn was collaborating with a community group in Melbourne called Voithame Tin Ellada (VTE – We are helping Greece).
The head of the Australian Golden Dawn branch Ignatius Gavrilidis claimed that cash donations were sent directly to the party’s parliamentary account by individual donors and 10 pallets of clothes were shipped to Greece.
Gavrilidis noted the fundraising drive has stopped because of a media campaign aimed at disrupting Golden Dawn’s activities in Australia. He blamed Victorian State MP Nick Kotsiras, who strongly opposes Golden Dawn and its presence in the country.
“VTE has been shut down. VTE was shut down within 24 hours thanks to Facebook, thanks to the authorities, thanks to Victorian MP Nick Kotsiras,” said Gavrilidis.
Gavrilidis noted that the consequence could be charges in Greece against Kotsiras. However, this is highly impossible as Golden Dawn currently holds only 16 seats in Greece’s 300-seat parliament.
Kotsiras has expressed his concerns over the intended use of the funds raised in Australia by Golden Dawn and VTE, which are meant to be sent back to Greece, and has called for further investigation over the party’s fundraising activities.
Consumer Affairs Minister Heidi Victoria said she is aware of VTE and Golden Dawn but isn’t currently investigating either groups’ activities.
The Australian Charities and not-for-profits Commission has confirmed neither are listed on the agency’s Charity Register.