Head of radical leftist Syriza party Alexis Tsipras (R) meets with leader of right-wing, anti-bailout Independent Greeks party Panos Kammenos
Head of radical leftist Syriza party Alexis Tsipras (R) meets with leader of right-wing, anti-bailout Independent Greeks party Panos KammenosReuters

Greek political party Syriza has formed a majority coalition with Independent Greeks (ANEL), whose leader Panos Kammenos came under fire in December for alleged anti-Semitic comments made on television claiming that Jews, along with Buddhists and Muslims "are not taxed" in Greece.

The comment raised the anger of the country's Central board of Jewish communities, which said in a statement that it "categorically refutes" Kammenos' words.

"It is a disgrace that a leader of a party in Parliament does not know that Greek Jews are equal citizens and subject to the all the rights and obligations of every citizen," the statement added.

It also called on Kammenos to apologise for the "serious anti-Semitic act".

The controversial statement came after outgoing prime minister Antonis Samaras published a column in a Greek daily in which he called on Independent Greeks to vote in favour of the then-presidential candidate Stavros Dimas.

Kammenos rejected the appeal because Samaras' government voted the legislation was "against the Orthodox Church".

"Here we see that Orthodoxy, which Samaras cites in his article. His government took most of its decisions against the Church of Greece - cremation, civil partnerships for homosexuals and taxation just for the Orthodox religion.

"Buddhists, Jews, Muslims are not taxed. The Orthodox Church is taxed and in fact is at risk of losing its monastery assets," he said.

Greece's radical left Syriza party, which has won the national elections, is to form a coalition government with far-right anti-austerity party Independent Greeks.

Kammenos held talks with Syriza's party leader Alexis Tsipras to form a coalition government after the radical left party fell just short of an absolute parliament majority.

"I want to say, simply, that from this moment, there is a government. The Independent Greeks [party] will give a vote of confidence to the prime minister Alexis Tsipras."

"The prime minister will go to the president and ... the cabinet make-up will be announced by the prime minister. The aim for all Greeks is to embark on a new day, with full sovereignty."

Syriza's leader Alexis Tsipras is to receive a mandate from president Karolos Papoulias to form a government today. His party won 149 out of the 300 parliamentary seats and so it needed a coalition partner to secure a working majority. The Independent Greeks won 13 seats.