Golden Dawn caused more turmoil in Parliament on Tuesday, labeling Muslim MPs from northeastern Greece “Turkish-speaking agents” and saying that the far-right party still regards Istanbul as the Greek capital.
Speaking in reference to the National Day of Remembrance for the Genocide of Greeks in Asia Minor, Golden Dawn MP Christos Pappas launched a verbal assault on the Muslim lawmakers and accused them of harboring “anti-Greek” sentiment.
Deputy Parliament Speaker Christos Markoyiannakis asked for the comments to be struck from Parliament’s records but this did not deter Pappas, who accused the previous governments of George Papandreou and Costas Karamanlis of following “Turkish-friendly” policies. Golden Dawn spokesman Ilias Kasidiaris then added that, for his party, “Constantinople [Istanbul] was and will always be the Greek capital.”
The outburst from the extreme-right party came as New Democracy decided to be more critical of Golden Dawn in public. The conservatives’ parliamentary spokesman Makis Voridis, who was a member of far-right groups when he was younger, told Skai TV that Golden Dawn has no connection to the right wing of Greek politics but was instead a “national socialist” movement.
New Democracy aims to augment this strategy by building relations with the Church and the armed forces, where Golden Dawn has been fishing for support. Party secretary Andreas Papamimikos met on Tuesday with Archbishop Ieronymos to offer New Democracy’s help in organizing the Church of Greece’s soup kitchens.