Constantinos Barbarousis, an MP of the neo-Nazi Golden Dawn party, faced a treason charge after launching a tirade in Greece’s Parliament on Friday during a debate on the Macedonia name deal, calling on the army to arrest Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras as well as the president and the defense minister.
Barbarousis’s rant led to GD’s ejection from the debate and, subsequently, to his own dismissal from the party, which saw its representation in Parliament reduced to 15 seats.
In a heated speech, Barbarousis accused the government of “not legislating in the nation’s interests but in its own.”
In view of this, he said, the country’s military leadership should “respect its oath” and arrest Tsipras along with his coalition partner Panos Kammenos, who is also defense minister, and President Prokopolis Pavlopoulos “to avert this treason.”
Parliament Speaker Nikos Voutsis reacted immediately, calling for GD’s parliamentary group to be banned from the debate. Shortly afterward Kammenos called for Barbarousis to be charged with high treason.
Justice Minister Stavros Kontonis called for a prosecutor to determine whether the GD MP should face criminal charges for his behavior.
Later in the day it emerged that he was to be charged with preparatory acts of treason. Judicial authorities do not need Parliament’s approval to lift an MP’s immunity in the case of treason-related charges.
Late on Friday night, reports said Barbarousis was being chased by police on the Athens-Patras highway.
Government spokesman Dimitris Tzanakopoulos sought to blame opposition New Democracy, which brought the no-confidence motion against the government, for Barbarousis’s outburst, saying it has “opened Pandora’s box” and “unleashed the beast of nationalism.”