Mosque Project Divides Opinion in Greece
Greece has an "international obligation" to build a mosque in its capital, Athens Mayor has argued, amid opposition and parts of society's criticism at the project.
Mayor Giorgos Kaminis made the announcement came after Aris Spiliotopulos, his main opponent at the upcoming local elections in May and former Minister of Education and Religious Affairs, proposed that a referendum be held in Athens on the construction of the mosque, Bulgarian agency BGNES has reported.
Kaminis, who will be re-elected in May according to polls, was quoted as saying that a referendum would be a "serious mistake".
A project to build a mosque in Greece's capital dates as early as the beginning of 2000s, but the Greek government has now decided to assign EUR 1 M for the project to be built in a former industrial zone, in support of a plan approved by parliament in 2011.
Athens is presently the only EU capital without a mosque. Some groups in Greek society, on the other hand, openly show hostility to immigrants, a vast number of which are Muslims.