Accident waiting to happen

The assault by far-right Chrysi Avgi party spokesman Ilias Kasidiaris on two female politicians on a morning TV talk show yesterday was a provocative and unacceptable act of violence that should make every reasonable individual worry about the current state of our nation and our democracy.

It has to be said, however, that attacks -- verbal as well as physical -- carried out by both left- and right-wing extremists against public figures have in some cases been encouraged by the local media.

As past acts of violence, such as the assault on conservative politician Costis Hatzidakis, went unpunished, behavior of this nature became the norm and helped strengthen the extremes. Blinded by the drive for higher rates, private channels turned the spotlight on all sorts of colorful or even paranoid figures. Live scuffles were considered a sure way of drawing viewers.

Yesterday?s incident was a predictable step on the slippery slope to unchecked violence and the settling of political scores. We will have to either enforce the law or put our democracy and social cohesion at risk.