The Greek Neo-Nazi party Golden Dawn has lashed out at the country's president Karolos Papoulias after he denounced fascism, accusing him of being a traitor and a sold-out politician.
In his New Year's Day message to the nation, the 83-year-old president attacked Golden Dawn, claiming it was hard to believe that Greeks would accept neo-Nazis since they had fought against them during World War II.
"Personally, I refuse to accept that fascist-inspired phenomena suit a nation such as the Greek people, who gave thousands of dead to the European challenge to free itself from Nazism," he said.
The far-right party's founder and leader Nikolaos Michaloliakos did not attend the president's traditional meeting with all Greece's political parties, claiming he denies any interaction with those "responsible for the international vilification of the country and the levelling of the Greek people"
He responded to Papoulias by saying fascism is not to blame for "the current daily robbery of this country by foreign usurpers and plutocrats".
"[Those to blame are] the traitors and sold-out politicians," he claimed. "A noble class to which the president evidently belongs."
Papoulias's spokesperson refused to comment on Golden Dawn's statement.