10 Jun 2012

Greek TV debate attacker blames victims

10:01 am on 10 June 2012

The Greek far-right politician who slapped a woman in the face and threw water in the face of another during a live TV election debate has threatened to sue his victims.

Proscecutors have issued an arrest warrant for Ilias Kasidiaris, spokesman for the Golden Dawn party, who been in hiding since Thursday when he assaulted the two left-wing politicians.

In a statement posted on Facebook on Saturday, he said he regretted becoming involved in an incident which could damage the party's image ahead of a June 17 general election but he blamed his adversaries for the attack.

Mr Kasidiaris said the events were "staged with the sole aim of provoking an extreme reaction on my part."

"I will go the prosecutor in person to sue those behind the illegal actions that have taken place in the last two days."

Golden Dawn, a far-right, anti-immigrant party whose symbol resembles a Nazi swastika, won 7% of the vote in an inconclusive May election and entered parliament for the first time, pledging to stand up for Greeks suffering in the crisis.

The party's image has been severely dented by continuous replays of footage of the 31-year-old Kasidiaris, a former army commando, striking the middle-aged communist deputy Liana Kannelli, Reuters reports.