Greek police hunt far-right MP Ilias Kasidiaris over live TV talk show brawl with female rivals

Mr Kasidiaris was locked in a room at the studio but broke down a door to escape, it was claimed

Athens

Greek television channels spent most of yesterday replaying and debating shocking scenes of violence between rival politicians that erupted during a live television talk show.

A public prosecutor ordered the immediate arrest of the far-right Golden Dawn party's Ilias Kasidiaris after he punched and slapped a Communist rival, Liana Kanelli, and hurled a glass of water at a radical left MP, Rena Dourou.

The talk show's seven guests, representing all of the parties elected to the Greek parliament in the vote on 6 May, were debating whether natural resources could help to pull the debt-strapped country out of its financial quagmire, but the talks quickly degenerated. Ms Kanelli called Mr Kasidiaris a "fascist" and he retorted with "old commie".

After Ms Douru made reference to a court case pending against him and said his party would "take the country back 500 years", Mr Kasidiaris leapt from his chair and threw a glass of water over her.

As Ms Kanelli stood up to condemn Mr Kasidiaris and threw a newspaper at him, the ex-special forces weightlifting enthusiast turned his rage on her. He slapped Ms Kanelli around the face three times as she struggled to defend herself.

The host, Giorgos Papadakis, ran across the set shouting "No, No" as he tried to intervene, but was too slow to stop the attack. After the incident, Mr Kasidiaris was locked in a room at the Athens studio but broke down a door and escaped, it was claimed. Last night, police were searching for the party leader.

Ms Kanelli, a former journalist, told The Independent: "I got the winning ticket to unveil the face of the monster." She said her assailant was out of control but added: "I have dignity. I could not just sit there as everyone was just stunned, white and motionless. I'm still trying to collect my senses. I assure you, this is not our culture."

Golden Dawn won an unprecedented 21 seats in the 300-seat parliament in May, riding on a wave of discontent over the economy and rising nationalist sentiment. It campaigned on the promise to rid the country of illegal immigrants and lock up corrupt politicians.

No party won a majority in the election and several attempts to form a coalition failed. Another election will be held on 17 June.

In a statement, Golden Dawn said Mr Kasidiaris was provoked. "If you want us to condemn our fellow fighter for this truly unfortunate moment, you must first condemn the insults and attack of Liana Kanelli or you are nothing more than sad hypocrites," it added.

Suggested Topics
Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager - B2B, Corporate - City, London

£45000 - £50000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A highly successful, glo...

Recruitment Genius: Head of Content and PR

£35000 - £37000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: We are 'Changemakers in retail'...

Recruitment Genius: PHP Developer - Mid / Senior

£25000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This fast growing digital agenc...

Recruitment Genius: E-commerce Partnerships Manager

£50000 - £100000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a newly-created partne...

Day In a Page

No postcode? No vote

Floating voters

How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

By Reason of Insanity

Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

Power dressing is back

But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

Caves were re-opened to the public
'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

Vince Cable interview

'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

Licence to offend in the land of the free

Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

From farm to fork in Cornwall

One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

Robert Parker interview

The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor