A public prosecutor ordered Golden Dawn spokesman Ilias Kasidiaris’ immediate arrest after Thursday’s incident on the private Antenna television.
Kasidiaris took offence at a reference by radical left Syriza party member Rena Dorou over a court case that is pending against him, Al Jazeera reported.
Kasidiaris bounded out of his seat and hurled a glass of water across the table over Dorou when she said there was a “crisis of democracy when people who will take the country back 500 years have got into the Greek parliament”.
He then turned on a prominent Communist Party member, Liana Kanelli, who had got up out of her chair with a newspaper in hand and appeared to throw it at the Golden Dawn member.
Giorgos Papadakis, the talk show host, ran over to Kasidiaris to attempt to calm him, shouting “No, no, no!”
Kasidiaris, who has served in the Greek military’s special forces, hit Kanelli around the face three times, with right-left-right slaps to the sides of her head.
Kasidiaris was elected to parliament in the country’s recent inconclusive polls.
“The people voted for them because they didn’t know what Golden Dawn was. They didn’t know they’re a new form of neo-Nazis,” one woman in central Athens said.
One man hailed the incident as an example of a failing democracy.
“What I saw this morning is a derailment of democracy. It shows our people how democracy works in our country. There is no democracy,” local resident Giorgos Theofanis said.
Police were searching for Kasidiaris to serve the arrest warrant, which under Greek law must be carried out within 24 hours, AP reported.
”The government condemns in the most categorical way the attack by Golden Dawn spokesman Ilias Kasidiaris against Liana Kanelli and Rena Dourou,” government spokesman Dimitris Tsiodras said. ”This attack is an attack against every democratic citizen.”
On the other hand, the party said in a statement, “Golden Dawn continues its fight for a strong nationalist movement against everyone, and naturally against the orphans of Marx, who dominate on the (broadcast) channels and are playing a dirty propaganda game.
”If you want us to condemn our co-fighter for a truly unfortunate moment, you should first condemn the insults and the attack by Liana Kanelli, otherwise you are nothing but sad hypocrites following orders.”