Greek extremist party member in TV assault

Greece’s election campaign turned ugly on live TV: The spokesman of the extreme-right Golden Dawn party,after trading insults of “commie” and “fascist”

Written by Associated Press | Athens | Published:June 8, 2012 12:59 am

Greece’s election campaign turned ugly on live TV on Thursday: The spokesman of the extreme-right Golden Dawn party,after trading insults of “commie” and “fascist”,lunged at two female left-wing politicians on a mainstream morning talk show,throwing water at one and smacking the other three times across the face.

The violent display,a week and a half ahead of crucial elections,stunned Greeks as they seek to avoid a catastrophic exit from Europe’s common euro currency. A prosecutor issued an arrest warrant for Ilias Kasidiaris,whose party alarmed Europe by gaining 21 of Parliament’s 300 seats in Greece’s inconclusive May 6 elections. Golden Dawn,which vehemently denies the neo-Nazi label,has been accused of violent attacks against immigrants in Athens.

The attack “put on public display what was widely known”,said the radical left-wing Syriza party,whose member Rena Dourou was splashed with water on the show. “The true face of this criminal organization.’’

Kasidiaris,31,shot an insult of “you old Commie’’ at 58-year-old prominent Communist Party member Liana Kanelli,in return for her branding him a “fascist”.

It all careened into violence when Dourou said there was a “crisis of democracy”. Kasidiaris bounded out of his seat and hurled a glass of water at her.

He then turned on Kanelli,who had stood up and appeared to throw a newspaper at him. Kasidiaris hit Kanelli three times.

Golden Dawn reacted to the incident,saying it was Kanelli who first attacked Kasidiaris,“hitting him unprovoked in the face with a packet of documents”.

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