An arrest warrant has been granted by a Greek court for Ilias Kasidiaris, a representative of the neo-Nazi Golden Dawn party in Greece, after a televised affray in which he repeatedly struck a female representative of the Communist Party. In an animated debate over whether there are submarine oil reserves south of the island of Crete, the discussion unraveled on video (YouTube) into a brawl when Kasidiaris first threw water across the studio at Rena Dourou of the SYRIZA party. Standing to voice his objections, Kasidiaris was then met by Liana Kanelli who also got out of her chair at the U-shaped table where the debate aired. Kasidiaris is seen slapping Kanelli, a middle-aged woman who tried to respond in kind.
Broadcast on ANT-1 television from Athens, the televised debate went off the air following Kasidiari’s battery of the Communist politician. The outspoken Kanelli, whose KKE party goes back for decades and participates actively in the democratic process, told local media that Kasidiari’s misbehavior is proof positive that voters who supported the Golden Dawn (Chrysi Avgi) in May 6 parliamentary election should switch their vote for the June 17 election. Said Kanelli, "With the power of their vote on June 17, citizens must isolate every thuggish hand, which has no qualms about striking at any time."
Golden Dawn on May 6 received 450,000 votes in turbulent Greece, which is facing the prospect of deep austerity measures and voter desperation. Chrysi Avgi scored a stunning victory, when it garnered 6.97 percent of the vote, compared with just 0.29 percent in 2009.
Kasidiaris was elected to parliament on May 6, but does not enjoy parliamentary immunity since that assembly was dissolved in order to enable the new elections. He is already set for trial on a separate charge involving a 2007 stabbing assault on a student at Athens University.
The leader of Golden Dawn, Nikos Michaloliakos is also in hot water, following widely condemned remarks he made in May 2012. The Greek government and community organizations condemned Michaloliakos for denying the historicity of the Holocaust. The neo-Nazi leader said there were no gas chambers in Nazi concentration camps, in which millions of Jews and other enemies of the National Socialists were immolated. He also challenged the view that six million Jews were killed in the Second World War. "There were no ovens, this is a lie ... there were no gas chambers either," Michaloliakos said in an interview on the private Mega television station.