Ilias Kasidiaris

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Ilias P. Kasidiaris
Born (1980-11-29) 29 November 1980 (age 34)
Piraeus, Greece
Occupation MP and spokesman for Greek Golden Dawn party

Ilias P. Kasidiaris (Greek: Ηλίας Π. Κασιδιάρης; born 29 November 1980), is a Greek Member of Parliament[1][2] and spokesperson of Golden Dawn, a Greek far-right[3] political party in Greece. It is led by Nikolaos Michaloliakos.

Early and personal life[edit]

Ilias Kasidiaris was born on 29 November 1980 in Piraeus, Greece.

Kasidiaris' farther, Panagiotis Kasidiaris, is a retired doctor while his mother is a teacher in philology with a specialization in archaeology. As a child he was appealed by gymnastics, martial arts, writing and history. For many years, he had been taking dance classes, including tango.

During his military service, he served in the Greek Special Forces and more specifically in 35 Commando Squadron in Cyprus. He holds a degree in food science from Agricultural University of Athens.

Kasidiaris bears a tattoo on his arm of a ancient Greek 'meander (art)' symbol,[4] widely reported as swastika composed of Grecian Key meanders, a logo of his party.[5]

Notable political events[edit]

In mid-2013, while in the parliament, Kasidiaris denied that the Holocaust occurred.[6]

Οn 17 September 2013, Kasidiaris and a number of other Golden Dawn lawmakers were arrested on 28 September 2013 on charges of belonging to a criminal organisation and are due to appear in court.[7] The charge sheet includes murder, extortion, and involvement in the disappearance of up to 100 migrants.[8] On 2 October 2013, Ilias Kasidiaris was released on a 50,000 euro bail.[9]

On 2 April 2014, Takis Baltakos and Ilias Kasidiaris were recorded on video discussing the incarceration of Golden Dawn lawmakers.[10] Takis Baltakos, Samaras's most trusted adviser and chief of staff was filmed accusing Samaras of instigating a judicial inquiry against the Golden Dawn party for political gain. That week parliament voted to lift the immunity from prosecution of five Golden Dawn deputies.[11] Justice Minister Athanasiou and Citizen Protection Minister Dendias were implicated in the video. Baltakos was forced to resign but then reviled that New Democracy and Golden Dawn has a informal alliance, with parliamentary voting support.[12] The pre-trial detention and house arrest ahead of a trial was the most significant mass round-up of lawmakers since the military coup in 1967.[13]

On 10 July 2014, Kasidiaris was taken into custody in Koridalos prison, on a charge of weapons possession with the intent to supply a criminal organisation.[14]

On 1 July 2015, Kasidiaris was released from custody after the council of appeals court judges deemed that “the legal weight” of the offense was not adequate to justify detention. Kasidiaris must report regularly to his local police station and under the conditions of his release is not allowed to visit Golden Dawns political offices.[15]

Golden Dawn logo

On 15 July 2015, during rancorous debates in the Greek parliament on the passing of various bills required as a pre-cursor to the commencement on negotiations to receive a third bailout of the Greek economy, footage of Kasidiaris tearing up papers during an impassioned speech made news reports around the world. .[16]

Televised scuffle on ANT1 and fallout[edit]

On June 7, 2012, during a television appearance, Kasidiaris, in response to a verbal disagreement, threw a glass of water at Greek politician Rena Dourou, he then proceeded to physically assault Liana Kanelli after she hit him with a newspaper to his behavior.[17] The heated exchange was a fluid discussion focusing on the rights of immigrant works vs right of the unemployed Greek and the development of gas reservoirs in northern Crete eventually disintegrating from a heated debate to broken rhetoric from both sides about opinion on the Regime of the Colonels to the persecution of Golden dawn activists. The heated discussion broke down when Kanelli insulted Kasidiaris referring to him as a fascist "φασίστα", Kasidiaris responded by derogatorily calling her an old communist "παλιό κομμουνι". Dourou intervened and said there was a democratic crisis in Greece and that Golden Dawn would take the country back 500 years, Kasidiaris threw the water at Dourou, and Dorou grinned at the subsequent scuffle as Kanelli hit Kasidiaris with paper and Kasidiaris push her back and slapped her.[18]

Political analyst Theodore Couloumbis told Reuters that the sight of a young man slapping up a woman could cost the far right party votes, especially with women, though other experts thought images of violence could play in their favour — a Facebook page dedicated to Kasidiaris picked up 6,000 'likes' within 24 hours.[19] Kasidiaris was also awaiting trial for allegedly being the get away driver[20] for an armed assault on a university professor in Athens in 2007.[21][22] He was found innocent of all charges relating to the 2007 incident in March 2013, due to a lack of evidence against him.[23][24]

Some opinion polls suggest a slight increase in support for Kasidiaris after the event. It was openly debated in the Greek press whether Kasidiaris had been right or wrong. Online Kasidiaris was widely cheered.[25]

Kasidiaris quoted The Protocols of the Elders of Zion in a 23 October 2012 speech to parliament. Defending himself in a discussion of whether to lift his parliamentary immunity over his assault of Kanelli, he quoted the passage, "In order to destroy the prestige of heroism we shall send them for trial in the category of theft, murder and every kind of abominable and filthy crime."[26] Kasidiaris, as well as two of his Golden Dawn colleagues, had their immunities stripped by a unanimous vote of the parliament.[27]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Ilias Kasidiaris, Greek Golden Dawn Politician, Assaults Two Female MPs On Live TV (VIDEO)". huffingtonpost.com. 7 June 2012. Retrieved 22 July 2012. 
  2. ^ Gilani, Nadia (11 June 2012). "Ilias Kasidiaris: Greek MP who punched woman in the face on live TV sues his victims | Mail Online". dailymail.co.uk (London). Retrieved 22 July 2012. 
  3. ^
  4. ^ http://uk.reuters.com/article/2015/01/23/us-greece-election-goldendawn-idUSKBN0KW0EN20150123
  5. ^ http://www.elmundo.es/elmundo/2013/08/06/internacional/1375786954.html
  6. ^ The Greek far right: Racist dilemmas
  7. ^ EurActiv.com. "Greek justice hits neo-Nazi ‘Golden Dawn’". Retrieved 30 September 2013. 
  8. ^ Channel 4 News. "Swastikas but no faces please - Golden Dawn in crisis". Retrieved 30 September 2013. 
  9. ^ http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=228369706
  10. ^ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5_9C0CGtQfU
  11. ^ http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/apr/03/greece-antonis-samaras-golden-dawn-takis-baltakos
  12. ^ http://www.enetenglish.gr/?i=news.en.article&id=2057
  13. ^ http://uk.reuters.com/article/2015/01/23/us-greece-election-goldendawn-idUSKBN0KW0EN20150123
  14. ^ "Προφυλακιστέος ο Ηλίας Κασιδιάρης". Εφημερίδα των Συντακτών. 2014-07-10. Retrieved 2014-07-17. 
  15. ^ http://www.ekathimerini.com/198797/article/ekathimerini/news/golden-dawn-spokesman-kasidiaris-released-from-custody
  16. ^ "Golden Dawn MP furiously tears up papers in Parliament over bailout deal". The Telegraph. 2015-07-15. Retrieved 2015-07-16. 
  17. ^ Greek New Dawn's Ilias Kasidiaris sues women over TV row, BBC News, 11 June 2012
  18. ^ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mcy_oE2L68s
  19. ^ Savaricas, Nathalie (9 June 2012). "Anti-fascist fury in Athens after far-right MP hit rival". The Independent (London). 
  20. ^ "Kasidiaris to face trial for TV beating | Article Page | Home". Enetenglish.gr. 2013-03-13. Retrieved 2013-04-07. 
  21. ^ "Αναβλήθηκε για τη Δευτέρα η δίκη του Ηλία Κασιδιάρη". 
  22. ^ Howden, Daniel (8 May 2012). "Nikos Michaloliakos: The far-right firebrand who holds Europe's future in his hands". The Independent (London). 
  23. ^ "Πρώτο ΘΕΜΑ online : Αθωώθηκε ο Κασιδιάρης και προκαλεί - Πολιτική". Protothema.gr. Retrieved 2013-04-07. 
  24. ^ "Greece: Golden Dawn's Ilias Kasidiaris acquitted in court". Digitaljournal.com. 2013-03-07. Retrieved 2013-04-07. 
  25. ^ http://www.gq.com/story/fall-of-greece-gq-december-2012
  26. ^ "'Protocols of the Elders of Zion' read aloud in Greek parliament". Times of Israel. 26 October 2012. Retrieved 26 October 2012. 
  27. ^ "Greek Parliament lifts immunity of 3 far-right lawmakers". The Washington Post. Associated Press. 24 October 2012. Retrieved 26 October 2012. [dead link]

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