Police have stopped members of a far-right party in Greece from staging a free food handout aimed only at Greeks in the capital's main square.

Golden Dawn had said it would give food to needy Greeks in Syntagma Square today, ahead of Sunday's Orthodox Easter.

Athens Mayor Giorgos Kaminis had vowed the handout would not be allowed.

Golden Dawn members arrived more than two hours earlier than announced and handed out some bags of food before being stopped by police.

Mr Kaminis said Syntagma Square could not be used for such events by any political party or group, and thanked the police for stopping the handout.

A once-marginal group fond of Nazi literature and symbols but which rejects the neo-Nazi label, Golden Dawn is now Greece's third most popular party.