ATHENS — The Greek Golden Dawn party has called for a boycott of Estée Lauder cosmetic products after World Jewish Congress president Ronald Lauder urged Greece to ban the neo-Nazi group.
Due to the “hostile attack on Greek sovereignty, freedom and interests, Lauder’s cosmetics monopoly, Estée Lauder, must be boycotted,” a statement on the website of Golden Dawn’s New York branch said.
Lauder, son of the cosmetics firm’s founders, Estée Lauder and Joseph Lauder, and chairman of one of the company’s divisions, spoke at a ceremony March 17 to commemorate the destruction by the Nazis of the historic Jewish community in Thessaloniki. He called on Greece to take a tougher stance against Golden Dawn.
Golden Dawn erupted onto the political scene last year, winning seven per cent of the vote – 18 seats – in the 300-member Parliament. Recent polls have indicated that the party, which runs on a fierce anti-immigrant platform, now has between 14 and 18 per cent of the population’s support.
Golden Dawn has frequently been condemned by Jewish and international groups as being racist and antisemitic.
Party leaders slammed Lauder for interfering in Greek politics.
“An institution that is not Greek and does nothing to contribute to Greek well-being, is demanding that [Greek Prime Minister Antonis] Samaras ban the third-largest party, which enjoys up to 18 per cent of the electorate’s support, all in the name of liberal democracy nonetheless,” the statement said.
“The World Jewish Congress claims to speak on behalf of Greece’s 5,000 Jews. Why does Samaras care more about the opinions of 5,000 over 1 million Greeks, if Greece is truly a democracy?” the statement continued.