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Greek lawmaker leaves Golden Dawn, cites allegations of violence

Golden Dawn party lawmaker Chrysovalantis Alexopoulos leaves the Greek parliament in Athens on October 16, 2013, after the vote to lift the immunity from prosecution of six lawmakers from the Golden Dawn party.
In this file photo, former Golden Dawn party lawmaker Chrysovalantis Alexopoulos leaves the Greek parliament in Athens on October 16, 2013. LOUISA GOULIAMAKI/AFP/Getty Images

ATHENS – A Golden Dawn lawmaker has left the party, claiming he was shocked by recent allegations about violent activities by members of the extreme right party, including attacks on immigrants.

Chrysovalantis Alexopoulos will remain in parliament as an independent.

Golden Dawn’s remaining 17 lawmakers have responded by calling Alexopoulos a “liar,” “defamer” and “coward” and calling on him to resign.

VIDEO GALLERY: The rise of Greece’s far-right party

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According to a resume posted on his personal website, now taken down, Alexopoulos joined Golden Dawn in 1996.

Greece’s financial crisis helped Golden Dawn gain nearly 7 per cent of the vote and 18 seats in Greece’s 300-member Parliament.

A crackdown by authorities on the extreme right-wing party started after last year’s fatal stabbing of an anti-fascist musician by a Golden Dawn supporter in Athens.