An Athens prosecutor on Thursday morning ordered the arrest of ultra-right Chrysi Avghi (Golden Dawn) candidate MP and party press spokesman Elias Kassidiaris, after he slapped Greek Communist Party of Greece (KKE) candidate MP Liana Kanelli. The incident occurred live on George Papadakis’ morning news show on Antenna television.
Following a heated discussion, and an exchange of insults from all sides, Kassidiaris threw a glass of water on SYRIZA cadre Rena Dourou, after she said that the presence of Chryssi Avghi in parliament will turn Greece back 500 years. Kanelli got up and whipped Kassidiaris with some envelops (papers) and he reacted by slapping her, despite attempts by the television host and other panelists who attempted to stop the whole incident.
Following the incident, Athens chief prosecutor Eleni Raikou ordered Kassidiaris’ arrest, but he had already left the premises of the television station. The prosecutor’s office later clarified that the arrest warrant for Kassidiaris is only against the attack against Kanelli. He is charged for attempted bodily harm, an offence that is prosecuted. That is not the case with Dourou, since the glass of water she received is not considered an offence and rather falls under the category of unprovoked abuse, which is prosecuted only after a law suit is filed by the victim.The announcement further clarified that Kassidiaris is currently not an MP since parliament has been dissolved ahead of the elections.This means that Kassidiaris does not have parliamentary immunity.
In the meantime, all the political parties began issuing statements on the incident. Most called the station and began condemning Kassidiaris’ action and calling it “cowardly”.
Following the show, Kanelli was quoted as saying that she is not planning to issue a lawsuit against Kassidiaris. “His mother should be proud” she said sarcastically.
The incident even shook up the caretaker government, and according to news reports prime minister Panagiotis Pikramenos spoke with Alexis Tsipras over the matter.
The only person rubbing his hands over the incident is LAOS leader George Karatzaferis whose party is not expected to make it to parliament. He did not waste anytime in issuing a statement about the incident claiming that it took his party ten years to give proud Greeks the sense of respect and honor. “We will not allow the gang of Mister Michaloliako (Golden Dawn General Secretariat) and the gang of Mr. Kassidiaris to ridicule what we constructed all these years. These types of fascist incidences do not represent proud Greeks”. (Well Mr. Karatzaferis… when you voted for Papademos and said hail to the Bilderberg and Trilateral Commission you were not representing proud Greeks either! Practice what you preach and stop hovering over the mistakes of others to gain votes like a vulture! )
The foreign press of course is having a field day with the subject forgetting similar scenes in other parliaments across the globe. Nonetheless it was quite fair with what actually happened contrary to the lies that are now being spread on Greek television.
For instance the BBC said in a report:
Mr Kasidiaris appeared to have been provoked when Rena Dourou of the radical left-wing Syriza party mentioned his alleged involvement in an armed robbery in 2007. He jumped up and threw a glass of water across the table at her, a You Tube clip of the Antenna television channel showed. When Liana Kanelli of the Greek Communist party, the KKE, apparently threw a newspaper at him, he responded by slapping her around the face with three right-left blows. (Click to read report)
The Guardian wasn’t that nice saying that:
Greek member of parliament for the neo-Nazi Golden Dawn party Ilias Kasidiaris attacks two leftwing politicians during a television debate. Kasidiaris thows a glass of water at Rena Dourou from the Syriaza party, then repeatedly strikes Liana Kanelli from the communist KKE party. (Click here to read report)
The Telegraph had the most realistic report, in our opinion and stuck with the facts.
Mr Kasidiaris took offence at a reference by radical left Syriza party member Rena Dorou over a court case that is pending against him. The 31-year-old bounded out of his seat and hurled a glass of water across the table over Ms Dorou when she said there was a “crisis of democracy when people who will take the country back 500 years have got into the Greek parliament.”He then turned on prominent Communist Party member Liana Kanelli, who had got up out of her chair with a newspaperin hand and appeared to throw it at the Golden Dawn member. (Click here to read report)