Greek call for selective blood donations

Fri, Jul 13, 2012, 01:00

ATHENS – A drive by the far-right Golden Dawn party to get Greeks to donate blood only for their fellow citizens has outraged doctors and medical authorities, who have slammed the initiative as racist and inhuman.

Golden Dawn, which enjoyed unprecedented success in last month’s election after promising to rid Greece of all immigrants, put up posters in Athens calling for volunteers to donate blood “only for Greeks who need our help”.

“All the bottles of blood we collect will be handed over to patients we choose and to no one else,” a statement said. “This right to choose belongs not just to Golden Dawn members, but to all volunteer blood donors.”

The party, which denies it is neo-Nazi, said it had managed to get such a blood bank up and running at a state hospital in Athens.

Health officials said this would be illegal, while the hospitals manager, Yiannis Stefanou, said there would be no discrimination as the rules required all blood donations to be made available to all patients who need them.

One of the biggest doctors unions in Athens said the Golden Dawn initiative was an “insane, unscientific, illegal and racist action” and promised to do everything necessary to protect the “sacred procedure of blood donation”.

Golden Dawn, which won seats in parliament this year for the first time, has been flaunting its success by pushing increasingly prominent anti-immigrant initiatives in recent weeks. Five years of recession have fuelled increasingly virulent anti-immigrant sentiment in Greece. – (Reuters)