The 300 legislators elected in Greeces inconclusive May 6 ballot were sworn in Thursday,including 21 from the right-wing Golden Dawn party one of the most extreme nationalist parties to have taken seats in a European parliament since World War II.
Formerly a shadowy fringe group,Golden Dawn vehemently rejects the neo-Nazi label,insisting it is a nationalist patriotic party. But its meteoric rise from a largely marginalized party a few years ago to one that won nearly 7 percent in recent elections has alarmed many in Greece and in Europe.
The 21 legislators 20 men and one woman were the first to enter the main chamber of Parliament for the swearing-in ceremony. The Golden Dawn ones refused to stand for the separate swearing-in of two Greek Muslim legislators who took their oaths on the Quran instead of on the Bible,remaining seated as the rest of the assembly stood.
Beginning today Golden Dawn is officially in Parliament to speak the language of truth and to express all Greeks, said Ilias Kassidiaris,who was elected deputy and also acts as the party spokesman.
The legislators will only be in power for one day. The May 6 election left no party with enough votes to form a government after Greeks furious over the handling of the countrys financial crisis deserted the two formerly dominant parties,the socialists and conservatives,and turned instead to smaller groups to the right and left of the political spectrum.
Coalition talks collapsed after nine days,leaving no other option but a return to the ballot box. A caretaker government has been appointed,and the newly sworn-in Parliament is to be dissolved Friday.