Greek bear NGO rebuffs extreme rightists' cash

AP News
Posted: Aug 21, 2013 8:54 AM

ATHENS, Greece (AP) — A prominent Greek environmental group says it has changed its mind and will return a donation from a xenophobic far-right party.

The Arcturos NGO says it was wrong to have taken 5,000 euros ($6,700) from Golden Dawn, a party polling third in Greece despite its fondness for Nazi symbols.

The nonprofit group, which has led efforts to protect threatened Greek bear and wolf populations, said in a statement Wednesday it still remains desperate for donations.

Golden Dawn emerged from beyond the margins of politics to enter Parliament last year, drawing on nationalist, anti-establishment sentiment amid Greece's economic depression and its record unemployment.

Golden Dawn denies the neo-Nazi label attached to it by mainstream politicians — but did play a Nazi anthem at a recent party gathering.