It probably isn’t surprising that an avowed neo-Nazi party would embrace violence, but it is a bit surprising that they’d do so on national television.
Greek MP Ilias Kasidiaris, the spokesperson for the neo-Nazi Golden Dawn Party, assaulted two female members of parliament during a televised debate. The Athenian prosecutor, Eleni Raikou, has ordered his arrest.
Kasidaris threw a glass of water at Rena Dourou, a SYRIZA (Coalition of the Radical Left) MP, after Dourou mentioned Kasidaris’ upcoming trial for robbery and assault. Liana Kanelli, a fellow MP and a member of the KKE (Communist) Party, stood up to protest. Kasidaris then slapped Kanelli at least three times, before the television network cut the feed. The altercation reportedly continued afterward, with Kasidaris threatening technicians and journalists before fleeing the studio.
The act drew swift condemnation from across the political spectrum, and threw a new spotlight on the fascist party that won 21 seats in parliament while promising to rid Greece of immigrant “filth.”
“Now that they have seen what this party is really about, Greeks will have no alibi to vote for them again,” said Prokopis Pavlopoulos, a former MP and a member of the conservative New Democracy party. “I, personally, will never take part in a debate with a member of Golden Dawn again.”
Greek caretaker government spokesperson issued a statement saying, “The government condemns in the most categorical manner the attack by the spokesman of the Golden Dawn party Elias Kasidiaris on Liana Kanelli and Rena Dourou. Political differences can’t be resolved with violence.”
A spokesperson for SYRIZA said that the assault “unveiled the true face of this criminal organization.”
Kanelli said the assault was proof that Greeks should reject Golden Dawn in the upcoming election. “With the power of their vote on June 17, citizens must isolate every thuggish hand, which has no qualms about striking at any time,” she said.
Golden Dawn has officially claimed that it is not a neo-Nazi party, but party leader Nikolaos Michaloliakos has denied the Holocaust, and the party’s central goal has been to rid Greece of all immigrants.
“No one should fear me if they are a good Greek citizen,” Michaloliakos has said. “If they are traitors – I don’t know.”
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