Greek politician punches female rival on TV chat show

Ilias Kasidiaris, freshly elected politician for Greece's far-right Golden Dawn party, was not in top rhetorical form during a TV debate with a left-wing rival. But he still had his fists! After hurling water over her, he then punched another female political rival in the face and ran off. A warrant was subsequently issued for his arrest. [Irish Times]


    1. Pretty sad when people watch you on TV and think how Hitler was a smooth operator in comparison.

      1. Speaking of Hitler, shouldn’t there be a re-edit of the bunker scene from Downfall, with Hitler reacting to the news that today’s fascists are a bunch of unchivalrous little punks by now?


        1. There’s an Italian comedian called Corrado Guzzanti who had a fantastic routine a few years ago: a small group of fascist camerati was sent to Mars in the 1930s (obviously to conquer it for the glory of Mussolini), somehow never aged while over there, and then managed to return in the present era (early-2000’s). Most of the gags were about modern politicians pursuing fascist policies in a sleazy way, without having the balls to actually say it out loud like Benito M. would have done. One of the best jokes was about Berlusconi getting hair transplants, while M was proud of his bald patch and even “used its flare to blind his enemies!”

      2. Way to Godwin the- Oh, wait… we are talking about -actual- Nazis.

        “On September 12th, dressed in civilian clothes, Hitler went to a meeting of the German Workers’ Party in the back room of a Munich beer hall, with about twenty five people. He listened to a speech on economics by Gottfried Feder entitled, “How and by what means is capitalism to be eliminated?” 

        After the speech, Hitler began to leave when a man rose up and spoke in favor of the German state of Bavaria breaking away from Germany and forming a new South German nation with Austria.

        This enraged Hitler and he spoke out forcefully against the man for the next fifteen minutes uninterrupted, to the astonishment of everyone. One of the founders of the German Workers’ Party, Anton Drexler, reportedly whispered: “He’s got the gift of the gab. We could use him.'”

        The thing is, no mater what you think of him, Hitler was a talented and charismatic orator. That’s what makes demagogues (on the right and the left) so dangerous.

  1. Good lord. I hope this means that he’ll be thrown out of his position, at the very least. Greece is not in a good position right now, and the less neo-Nazis in power, the better.

  2. A group of non-english speakers yelling at each other stirs the g00d ol’ American racism that was deep-friend into my soul at birth and I am forced to beat it into submission with the decency stick, all the while screaming that these are people and not cartoons while simultaneously stifling  a giggle. Don’t you wish you were raised in Dixie?

    1. He’s got a Homeresque way with women, this one.

      “And as for your ‘elected official’, she shouldn’t have mouthed off like that.”

    2. Thing is, it’s common in “hot blooded” countries (like Greece, Italy or Spain) for politicians to get visibly angry and shout at each other; fisticuffs (usually cocaine-fuelled)  do break out in Parliament once or twice a year in Italy,  *however* it would NEVER happen on a TV set, and it would NEVER, EVER involve a man punching a woman. Punching a woman in public is disgraceful even in the most retrograde Mediterranean country (while in private… well, it’s another matter).

      I hope the good people of Greece will recognize they made a mistake giving visibility to this asshole, and kick out his nazi friends asap.

  3. I’m pretty sure that assault on camera is a very poor rebuttal to allegations of prior violent crime…

    Seriously. I understand that these guys are extremist ultranationalists and whatnot; but don’t they have access to an oleaginous and repulsive class of handlers who specialize in keeping things anodyne while the cameras are on?

    1. This is the first time in a long while that these assholes got any visibility in Greece, and it happened only because mainstream parties have collapsed under the weight of German-imposed austerity programs. At the last round of Greek elections, even a donkey could get to 5%. I expect they’ll be wiped out at the next round, and *then* they’ll try to find their own Nick Griffin.

  4. Pathetic headline. Don’t be shy, the thug is a member of an openly Neo-Nazi party called Golden Dawn.

    1. Hah! wikipedia article states that they reject fascist and neo- nazi labels- while the party flag is so close to the nazi swastika you’d be forgiven for the mistake if you have a slight squint. How do they get votes?

        1. Thankfully there aren’t any powerful international banking interests demanding payments at a level that threatens both the material prosperity and the nationalist sentiments of the people….

          That would play right into the Golden Dawn’s hands.

          Oh, wait. Shit.

        2. I live in Greece and have to disagree. In the past few years the appeal is not their ultra-nationalism but the promises to deal with the very serious illegal immigration problem that adds a significant burden to an already poor and broken country (due to its geographical position the number of illegal immigrants entering Greece each year is highly disproportional to that entering other European countries and to what the country can accomodate)

          What Hrysi Avgi (Golden Dawn) does is pander to those most affected by this, for example residents of the poorest, most crime-stricken neibourhoods.

          You’re entirely right in that Greece is like Germany in the 20s. Poverty stricken, unstable and desperate. Ironically few people  in Germany seem to remember or care.

          1. Some reporters say the police only have 24 hours to serve an arrest warrant. Does that mean that if he hides for 24 hours he faces no charges?

          2.  There have been some very large German-funded bailouts of Greece if I remember correctly

          3. @ocker3 The bailouts are really bailing out the banks that own greek bonds, not the greek government. The money is put in a special account and Greece sees very little of it. The conditions for the bailouts were unrealistic and draconian and led to a collapse of the market and of revenues. A record number of businesses are failling, unemployment is sky high.The bailouts were also a case of too little, too late, creating a dept of questionable viability. While Greek politicians from 1981 and on are primarily responsible for the situation, Angela Merkel has her fair share of responsibility for how she dealt with the crisis.

          4. @deckard68  No, if he’s not aprehended within the next 24 hours he will still be charged but he will be tried at a later date. If he’s arrested tomorrow he will be brought before a judge and will be tried and sentenced immediately in a process called επ’αυτοφόρω. He’s hiding because he’s trying to avoid possible jail time during the election race.

      1. I ‘m greek and I keep wondering as well how and why do they get votes.. ??? And for the record he ‘s not a politician

        1. Well he was elected to the parliament in last month’s election. That makes him a politician unfortunately.

          Are you living abroad?

          1. Yes you ‘re right, it was my mistake.. He is a politician.. I wanted to say that while he was being kept after the telecast, allegedly he was shouting that he should be released cause he ‘s an assembly-but actually he ‘s not (was for 2 days). The elections were cancelled and are due to take place again in 17th of june.
            Either way, it ‘ sad..

  5. I see this a step towards equality:  this guy is commited to violence against everyone, no matter race, creed, sex, etc.

  6. We should be deeply alarmed by increasing signs of political polarization in Europe. Take a good look at this guy, because there are an awful lot of people who actually believe this is the right way to conduct political affairs, and it’s no joke. This is precisely the same kind of thinking that led Breivik to kill almost 90 schoolkids in Norway.

    A number of far-right and far-left parties are seeing their ranks swell as a response to the economic and political turmoil in Europe, and it’s hard not to remember that the Nazi rise to power in Germany was driven by their mutual antagonism with the Communists, and the degree to which their fighting got everyone riled up.

    1.  Yep.  There were running battles in the streets of Berlin between the Communist and the Nazis right before Hitler became Chancellor…

    2. Why are you lumping the left in with this business?  When times get tough the right wing flourishes because they can blame immigrants, other “lazy” poor people for real “Greek’s” (or whatever country you like) problems, all the while defending the hierarchy that got them there in the first place.  That is the right mentality.  Somebody lower on the wrung (in this case by virtue of their gender) talking back is simply *intolerable*.

      1. Radicals on the left are no different from radicals on the right when it comes to violent, bigoted behavior.  Assholes behave the same, no matter which ideology they subscribe to.

        1. Explain yourself. Where is your example of lefty “violence, bigotry, and asshole behavior” here?

          1. I think that you and aikimoe are speaking slightly at cross purposes…

            Practically by (the implied definition in the post) a ‘radical’ has to be sufficiently enthused about their ends to justify some distasteful means. This falls a touch close to being tautologically true for my taste; but isn’t egregiously broken.

            On the other hand, the degree to which ‘radicals'(as so defined) actually exist at any given time varies widely. Here is where some verbal shenanigans come into play:

            If you slip between the relative definition of ‘radical’, which is basically “Person sufficiently far in direction X, relative to the population” and implies nothing about what that person will or will not do, and the ‘absolute’ definition, which is (as used above) “Somebody willing to use unpleasant means because of dedication to a given end” you can pretend that there are dangerous radicals of both the left and right(you use the relative definition to establish their population-level existence, and then slip into the absolute definition to establish their dangerousness).

            That bit of wordplay, however, is flimflam. There certainly have been violent left wing groups: back in the day we had the Anarchists and their ‘propaganda of the deed’, and various communist enthusiasts would bomb or shoot something in parts of Europe until fairly recently(RAF and RZ didn’t entirely wind down until the mid ’90s); but they appear to be pretty thin on the ground these days.

            Practically your only option for being assaulted by leftists, at the present, is taking up animal research on a professional basis. Your choices in terms of right wing attack are notably broader…

          2. Oh, there’s none in this clip.  I just noticed the phrase, “…in this business?” from your earlier post.  I thought you were suggesting that people on the right acted badly more often than people on the left in general.  Sorry for the misreading!

          3.  @aikimoe:disqus Sifn’t.

            Do lefties try to replace science with mythology? Do they hand over public property to private interests? Do they operate a global misinformation machine? Etc.


          4. Stalin? Pretty sure he was left. Pol Pot? Erm…Chairman Mao? What about those “shining path” dudes? I dunno…am I wrong here?

          5.  @boingboing-c1275cd129cc3d86e5880b1e8c546e6a:disqus Those colossal jerk-wads were more like authoritarians or totalitarians. It’s pretty far from the ‘lefty’ position to have absolute power in the first place and then to use it to murder millions of your own citizens. False comparison is false.

        2. Speaking as a black woman, I seem to have noticed that the violent, bigoted behavior thrown my way seemed to come from one end of that spectrum mostly. Probably coincidence.

          1. Violent bigotry isn’t universally about left/right.  It all depends on circumstance and location.  Certainly, the violent bigotry of the South (decades ago primarily by Democrats, presently primarily by Republicans) is most famous in this country, but it has existed and still exists in all countries and is perpetrated by people with a wide variety of political ideologies.

          2. @aikimoe:disqus  In response to your trolling:  What a line of b.s. you’re spewing up there and down here.  Seriously it has not been “perpetrated by people with a wide variety of political ideologies”.

            It was perpetrated by conservatives.  

          3. Navin, just because someone makes an assertion you disagree with, it doesn’t necessarily mean they are “trolling.”  No need to get angry.

            I actually agree with you that bigotry is perpetrated by conservatives.  But we’re not talking about conservatives and liberals, we’re talking about people on the left and people on the right.

            The Soviet Union was run by people on the left, but they were conservatives.  The leftists who presently run China and Cuba and North Korea and Zimbabwe are all conservatives, but they are firmly on the left.  Che Guevara, a rather famous leftist, was a racist and bigot.

            Lots of leftists are and have been conservative.

        3. I know! Radical leftists just won’t leave those poor robber barons alone!

          1. Actually, I was thinking more about radical leftists in other parts of the world.  Throughout history and around the world people on both extremes of the political spectrum have brutalized and oppressed people.  Again, it’s not about ideology.  It’s about being an asshole.  

          2. @aikimoe:disqus Isn’t ideology all about what should be considered acceptable?

            And aren’t the ideologies of those on the right considerably less concerned with fairness, and far more amenable to blaming people for circumstances beyond their control?

            Your left-right equivalence is fucking bogus, man.

          3. Kimmo, I’m not equating the left and the right.  I’m making the rather boring and obvious argument that radicals on the left do bad things as much as radicals on the right.  And I’m a liberal!  If you want to ignore the entirety of the Soviet Union, China, Cuba, or even the wretched actions of Mugabe in Zimbabwe, that’s your prerogative.  But it doesn’t change the fact that people of all political persuasions have succumbed to corrupting effects of power.

            Mind you, I’d say the same thing on a far-right website and someone would argue that leftists are inherently worse than those on the right by bringing up subjective concepts of “what should be considered acceptable,” and “fairness.”

          4. Honestly everyone, relax. If you’re paying any attention to the tone of these comments, I’m pretty sure it’s unanimous outrage. No one is condoning Kasidiaris’ actions or trying to make excuses for him. Not even by a long shot. I believe that Akimoe, a self-stated liberal, is simply trying to explain that any radical party can embody corruption or bigotry. Personally, I believe there’s more merit in that as opposed to blindly bashing righties: it’s important to acknowledge that every side of the fence has dirtied their hands at some point in history. 
            I mean. It’s politics, for shit’s sake.

      2. “When times get tough the right wing flourishes…”

        Since you generalize, I think Mao and Stalin qualify as left wing assholes who took advantage of tough times. Though, and don’t tell anyone, I think Mao’s Long March ranks as one of the great populist accomplishments in the 20c.

        1. Authoritarianism happens both on the left and the right but has a tendency to be more common in right wing circles. All major communist leaders of the 20th century were authoritarians, then communists, the same can be said for some of the rightwing leaders, esp. the nationalist / fascist (Franco, Hitler, Mussolini, Inonu of Turkey) or others (Nixon for example). In general the socialist left has been significantly less authoritarian (esp. in Western and Northern Europe).

        2. Sif leftism isn’t just window-dressing for any authoritarian.

          We’re talking about mutually exclusive concepts supposedly coexisting here.

        3. 1st off, I respect your work (which is amazing btw), but not your views, which are completely naive, out of touch, and reflective of your own wealthy self interest.

          What the hell does this have to do with “Stalin” or “Mao”.  I mean really, have you no shame?  Are you really this much of a naif?  I mean I thought you were actually a smart man…..

        4. Hey Teller,
          You’re so right. I’m just glad to see that you’ve rightfully defended these right wing racist assholes. As I mentioned before, right wing conservatism is a defense of hierarchy against liberating forces from below, and as a wealthy privileged chap, you have played your predetermined part with gusto!

    3.  Yeah, I’m appalled at the way these communist sluts provoke the fascist guy into attacking them. Eerily similar to the way the German communists lured the Nazis into sending them to concentration camps. Both sides clearly deserve equal blame.

      1. Hey folks,

        My point was simply that the extreme polarization that resulted from heated conflict in Germany had the effect of driving large numbers of people out of the center into both camps, swelling ranks on both sides.

        But anyone who thinks that political violence in Europe has been the fault of “the left” or “the right”, or that communism and fascism map simply into those categories, or that the left in Berlin in the 20s and 30s means the same thing that it does in America today, should probably read a little more history.

        1.  My impression from the little reading I did while getting my PhD in history  is that the rise of fascism in Germany had a lot more to do with the fact that the Nazis had the sympathy if not outright support of big business, the conservative elite, the military and key institutions, such as the courts (I found this statistic quite illuminating: political murders is Germany 1918-1922 committed by the right: 354, unpunished: 326; murders committed by the left: 22, unpunished: 4). The “center” is not automatically the solution, but often part of the problem.

          1. As long as you’re doing all that reading, you might want to read what I actually said, which is that situations of strong political polarization have the potential for violence, and we should be concerned.

            None of this crap about blaming communists, either in Germany or in Greece, has anything to do with me.

  7. Oh wow. Watch the reaction of the bond woman on the top-right after our hero from the Golden Dawn throws a glass of water in her face: After the initial shock, she coyly puts her chin on her hand in a thoughtful pose… and smiles… as the ensuing chaos unfolds! 

    Such poise and dignity in the face of craven brutishness.

    I can’t help but think of the “Just as planned.” image macro meme.

    1. I’d want a higher-quality video before I made that kind of judgement. Even if she Did plan to goad him into physical action, his failure to recognise what was happening and call her on it, or walk out rather than throwing something (although water is pretty harmless in this context) speaks poorly of his impulse control. She found his weakness and took advantage of it, tactically quite astute. 

  8. Wow! He punched her not once, not twice, but THREE times. Yikes. Any modern Greek speakers care to enlighten us as to what caused such a fuss?

    edit: I RTFA so now I have an idea. It also says he broke through a door. Sheesh. Anger management?

  9. But you promised you changed!

    Reminds me of the Mr. Show sketch “The New Ku Klux Klan”

  10. If I’m reading this right, and the blonde woman on the right is the Syriza rep? No wonder she’s smiling. For Syriza to win, they need two things, and they need them very badly. (1) They need at least some of the anti-austerity right-wing voters to get so disgusted with Golden Dawn that they’ll decide that being anti-austerity is more important to them than sticking to right-wing principles, in which case Syriza is the only party they can vote for. And (2) they need to persuade New Democracy members that Golden Dawn is SO odious that they cannot possibly form a coalition with them in the (probably unlikely) event that New Democracy and Golden Dawn, collectively, get enough votes to form a right-wing coalition.

    Failing at #2 really is the nightmare scenario. A coalition government in which Golden Dawn sacrifices their voters’ anti-austerity demands in exchange for key cabinet seats, like control over the military, (a) guarantees that Greece will be looted by Bundesbank and Deutsche Bank for all eternity, turning Greece into the Haiti of Europe and (b) brings actual fascists, actual race-purity militarists, into the government of a core Eurozone/NATO member country. Golden Dawn’s dream scenario is for austerity to go ahead and get implemented, and for someone who can be linked to the communists or the anarcho-socialists to hand them a Reichstag Fire type incident. If military rule returns to Greece with Golden Dawn in control of the military, it will no longer matter what the voters want, because for all practical purposes there won’t actually be any more elections.

    So I’m not surprised that there are a coincidentally large number of cameras around every time someone successfully taunts a Golden Dawn politician into acting thugishly. If I were Syriza, that’d be my main campaign strategy for the next week and a half. “Vote Syriza: we’re as anti-austerity as the Golden Dawn, but unlike them, we don’t mug helpless people.”

  11. I didn’t watch the video, so there might be important details in there, but I take issue with the article describing the “far-right Golden Dawn Party.” Whatever name they go by, this is the Greek Nazi Party. They aren’t neo-nazis, or far-right fascist, but actual, real-life old-school Nazis. Not reporting this detail is dereliction of duty for anyone reporting on them.

    1. Rise of the Nazi parties in the most unlikely places like Russia and Greece really baffles me. They suffered very badly under them in WWII and now this. I suspect the people who actually remember died by now and it becomes  an unobjectionable view anymore. Still very baffling.

    2. You could argue that the Nazis weren’t actually right wing, more socialist (or left wing) leaning.

        1. That would be ludicrous, I am merely commenting on the stupidity of left-right as it is now used.

          1. In your parallel universe there was a time when  the Nazis were not considered rightwing? 

      1. You could argue that with approximately the same plausibility that could be mustered for the argument that the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea isn’t actually authoritarian, more democratic leaning…

  12. I wish somebody there had known jiu-jitsu.
    Choking that fucker unconscious on live, public television would have been an appropriate response.
    Just imagine him squealing and gurgling as the world grew dim.

  13. Greek Punch does not compare to Good Old Fashioned Hawaiian  Punch or British Parliament paper missiles or The Flying Shoes of Taiwan Parliamentary Procedure.    

Comments are closed.