Video: Golden Dawn spokesman attacks left-wing politicians on live TV

Far-right politician faces arrest after assault of Communist Party member on talk-show.

An arrest warrant has been issued for a member of Greece's extremist far-right party Golden Dawn (Chrysi Avgi) after he assaulted two left-wing politicians on live television this morning.

During a heated discussion on a political talk show, Ilias Kasidiaris threw water over Rena Dourou, a member of the radical left Syriza party, after she referred to a pending court case pending against Kasidiaris (in which he is accused of being an accomplice in the mugging of a student). He then jumped out of his seat to slap Communist Party member Liana Kanelli, after a disagreement about whether there were oil reserves south of Crete. The show quickly went off air after Kasidiaris hit Kanelli, but some reports suggest that scuffles continued after the cameras were off.

Golden Dawn, which won nearly 7 per cent of the vote on 6 May, is frequently described as a neo-Nazi party, a label it rejects. Members have been accused of being behind recent attacks on immigrants, a charge which the party denies.

Although Kasidiaris was elected to parliament on 6 May, he will not be protected by parliamentary immunity - the House has been dissolved so that elections can take place.

Here is the full clip:

Golden Dawn party members march on parliament, May 2012. Photograph: Getty Images

Samira Shackle is a freelance journalist, who tweets @samirashackle. She was formerly a staff writer for the New Statesman.

Getty
Show Hide image

How Theresa May laid a trap for herself on the immigration target

When Home Secretary, she insisted on keeping foreign students in the figures – causing a headache for herself today.

When Home Secretary, Theresa May insisted that foreign students should continue to be counted in the overall immigration figures. Some cabinet colleagues, including then Business Secretary Vince Cable and Chancellor George Osborne wanted to reverse this. It was economically illiterate. Current ministers, like the Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, Chancellor Philip Hammond and Home Secretary Amber Rudd, also want foreign students exempted from the total.

David Cameron’s government aimed to cut immigration figures – including overseas students in that aim meant trying to limit one of the UK’s crucial financial resources. They are worth £25bn to the UK economy, and their fees make up 14 per cent of total university income. And the impact is not just financial – welcoming foreign students is diplomatically and culturally key to Britain’s reputation and its relationship with the rest of the world too. Even more important now Brexit is on its way.

But they stayed in the figures – a situation that, along with counterproductive visa restrictions also introduced by May’s old department, put a lot of foreign students off studying here. For example, there has been a 44 per cent decrease in the number of Indian students coming to Britain to study in the last five years.

Now May’s stubbornness on the migration figures appears to have caught up with her. The Times has revealed that the Prime Minister is ready to “soften her longstanding opposition to taking foreign students out of immigration totals”. It reports that she will offer to change the way the numbers are calculated.

Why the u-turn? No 10 says the concession is to ensure the Higher and Research Bill, key university legislation, can pass due to a Lords amendment urging the government not to count students as “long-term migrants” for “public policy purposes”.

But it will also be a factor in May’s manifesto pledge (and continuation of Cameron’s promise) to cut immigration to the “tens of thousands”. Until today, ministers had been unclear about whether this would be in the manifesto.

Now her u-turn on student figures is being seized upon by opposition parties as “massaging” the migration figures to meet her target. An accusation for which May only has herself, and her steadfast politicising of immigration, to blame.

Anoosh Chakelian is senior writer at the New Statesman.

0800 7318496