Right-wing Golden Dawn MP Ilias Kasidiaris throws glass of water at Syriza representative and then repeatedly slaps Liana Kanelli of the KKE.
Socialism or barbarism — that’s what things in Greece have come down to as the country prepares for elections on June 17. This morning, a prominent MP and spokesman for the neo-Nazi Golden Dawn party, Ilias Kasidiaris, completely lost his cool in a debate with Rena Dourou of the Coalition of the Radical Left. As Dourou accused him of “taking the country back 500 years” and brought up the court case of a violent armed robbery in which he was allegedly involved, Kasidiaris jumped up and threw a full glass of water in her face.
Then, after Liana Kanelli of the communist KKE stood up and waved a piece of paper at him in protest, he proceeded to physically assault her, slapping her in the face at least three times before the cameras cut off. The TV presenter tried to intervene but Kasidiaris immediately fled the studio. Condemned by the whole political spectrum, Kasidiaris now has a search warrant to his name for violent assault. Ironically, he was already in court on Monday to stand trial on accusations of complicity in armed robbery, assault and illegal gun possession.
This attack follows the news, four days ago, that two Golden Dawn MPs and the daughter of the party leader had been arrested for a racist attack on a Pakistani passerby. The neo-Nazi party sent shock waves across Europe when it gained 7 percent of the vote and obtained 21 seats in parliament in last month’s elections. Greeks are set to return to the polls on June 17 in what promises to be a tight run-off between the Coalition of the Radical Left (really just radical social-democrats, as I pointed out yesterday) and the Conservative Nea Dimokratia.
Increasingly, the fate of Greece appears to boil down to that famous line by Rosa Luxemburg: “socialism or barbarism”. With the EU and IMF driving the country’s population to the brink, right-wing extremists have found fertile soil for their violent and racist ideology. Unfortunately, however, when the polls open 10 days from now, socialism is not really an option. The choice is limited to radical social democracy — but it is a crucial choice nonetheless.
To avert barbarism, as Luxemburg wrote, “is the mightiest task which has ever fallen to a class and to a revolution in the history of the world”:
This task requries a complete transformation of the state and a complete overthrow of the economic and social foundations of society. This transformation and this overthrow cannot be decreed by any bureau, committee, or parliament. It can be begun and carried out only by the masses of people themselves.