Greece’s Foreign Ministry condemned the actions of a neo-Nazi lawmaker who tore up a paper copy of the Turkish flag during a debate in the European Parliament on Wednesday evening.
Yannis Lagos is an independent MEP and leader of the National Popular Conscience, a splinter group that emerged after the disintegration of neo-Nazi Golden Dawn.
Speaking in the European Parliament on Wednesday, he blamed Turkey for the increased arrivals of refugees and migrants to the Greek islands.
“Greece condemns in the most categorical manner any act of insulting a national symbol and in this case the national symbol of Turkey. The unacceptable actions of the representatives of neo-Nazism are a departure from Greek and European traditions and are an attempt to attract attention to Golden Dawn, which is on trial, and which Greek society has pushed out of Parliament with its vote,” the ministry said in a statement.
“Neo-Nazis speak only for themselves,” it added.
The statement came after Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu slammed Lagos, without naming him, for his action.
“These racist minds know better than anybody how we crash and kick out to the sea those who dare attack our glorious flag. Europe’s spoiled and racist children should know their place,” he said in a tweet on Thursday.
Cavusoglu said he expected the European Parliament to take “necessary measures against this clown.”