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Konstantinos Floros leaves the debate chamber moments prior to allegedly assaulting a colleague inside the Greek Parliament in Athens. Alamy Stock Photo
Bust-up

Far-right MP arrested after fight breaks out in Greek parliament

Meanwhile, Greece’s Supreme Court blocked the small far-right Spartans party from running in the June EU elections today.

A FAR-RIGHT GREEK MP has been arrested following a punch-up in parliament. 

Euronews reported that Konstantinos Floros, who used to be a member of the extreme Spartans Party, allegedly assaulted Vasilis Grammenos, from the nationalist Greek Solution Party.

The parliament’s speaker ordered that Floros be handed over to police and face criminal charges for assaulting a member of Parliament.

Parliament had been debating lifting immunity of the MP Kyriakos Velopoulos, who is the president of the Greek Solution Party. Velopoulos is being sued for defamation by a retired navy officer whose son, Floros, had asked to speak in the debate.

Floros was told by Greek Solution’s parliamentary spokesman, Constantinos Chitas, that regulations did not allow it, prompting him to shout, “this will be decided by judges,” to which another Greek Solution MP, Vassilis Grammenos, replied “shut up, you trash!”

After reportedly putting him in a headlock outside the chamber, Floros then allegedly punched Grammenos in the head and threw him to the floor.

Grammenos was then taken to the parliament’s medical clinic and it is not known if he sustained any injuries, Euronews reported. 

Floros, who is an independent candidate, was condemned by the speaker and given a 15-day suspension from parliament, the harshest possible punishment.

“When we were making the procedural rules of the Parliament we thought we were addressing fundamentally rational people,” Constantinos Tassoulas said to MPs, adding that this penalty was “very light compared with the vulgarity and brutality of his behaviour.”

Spartans blocked from running

Meanwhile, Greece’s Supreme Court blocked the small far-right Spartans party today, which is the target of a vote fraud probe, from participating in the upcoming European Parliament elections.

The party was not on a list of more than 30 political movements permitted by the court to run in June.

The Supreme Court earlier had already prosecuted 11 politicians elected with the Spartans for electoral fraud earlier this month. 

Supreme Court prosecutor Georgia Adeilini ordered the move on the grounds that the party is allegedly run by the jailed former spokesman of neo-Nazi party Golden Dawn, Ilias Kasidiaris.

Kasidiaris and a lawyer were also prosecuted for alleged involvement in the scheme.

Greece’s electoral court is also examining whether the Spartans should be expelled from parliament altogether.

Adeilini had been investigating the case since September, after Spartans leader Vasilis Stigkas accused some of his colleagues of being “guided” by persons “outside parliament”.

This was deemed a reference to Kasidiaris, an admirer of the Third Reich who endorsed the Spartans in national elections last June.

They ended up winning more than 240,000 votes and 12 seats in parliament, and Stigkas at the time publicly thanked Kasidiaris for “fuelling” their rise.

The ruling New Democracy party and the PASOK socialists last week filed complaints at the Supreme Court, arguing that Kasidiaris is the “real” leader of the Spartans party.

Several Spartan lawmakers defected from the party after the prosecutions were announced. Stigkas later tried to walk back his statements.

Kasidiaris, 43, is serving a 13-year prison sentence with other leading members of Golden Dawn over crimes including the murder of an anti-fascist rapper.

The former food scientist, who was an MP from 2012 to 2019, has preached to his supporters through voice messages from prison and a YouTube channel that has more than 140,000 followers.

He sparked a major legal wrangle last year when he tried to run for parliament at the head of another newly formed far-right party, Hellenes.

After that failed because of a legal hurdle, he switched his support to the little-known Spartans.

With reporting from AFP

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