Greek Government Condemns Golden Dawn Assault on Politicians

Greek government spokesman Dimitris Tsiodras condemned an assault by a member of the anti-immigrant Golden Dawn party on two members of rival parties during a television show.

“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,” Tsiodras said in an e-mailed statement in Athens today. “Political differences can’t be resolved with violence.”

Tsiodras called on the Golden Dawn party to condemn the incident and said judicial officials were investigating the incident. Kasidiaris threw water at Dourou, a member of the anti-bailout Syriza party, before punching Kanelli, a member of the Greek Communist Party. The images were broadcast live on the private ANT1 television channel.

Golden Dawn said in a statement that Kanelli had struck Kasidiaris first, with no provocation, the Athens News Agency reported.

An arrest warrant for Kasidiaris, who is the party’s press spokesman, was issued by Greek authorities following the attack, the news service said.

Golden Dawn entered Parliament for the first time in the May 6 election, garnering 7 percent of the vote as it capitalized on rising frustration among austerity-hit Greeks against illegal immigration.

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