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Plenary of Greek parliament expels Golden Dawn from austerity bill debate

The Plenary of the Greek Parliament  decided on Wednesday to expel the parliamentary group of extreme right-wing Golden Dawn after the incident two days ago. The Golden Dawn group will not be able to participate in the debates on the omnibus bill containing the new package of austerity measures 2018-2021.

The decision to expel GD was unanimous, Parliament Speaker Nikos Voutsis said.

Citing the Rules of Procedure of the Greek Parliament and Article 81, the Parliament Speaker said that “the members of Golden Dawn have the right to take part in the roll-call votes that will close the debate proceedings, but not the right to participate in the plenary debate on the omnibus bill.”

The r0ll-call voting is scheduled for Thursday night.

On Monday, Golden Dawn MP Ilias Kasidiaris verbally attacked and pushed away New Democracy lawmaker and former minister Nikos Dendias during the debate of the bill at parliamentary committee level.

Kasidiaris and other GDs initially verbally attacked Dendias because he passed by while Kasidiaris was speaking to the committee. Within seconds, the tension escalated. At least the part of the verbal attack was filmed by the Parliament TV covering and transmitting live the debate.

Calling on representatives of other political parties to adopt the motion to expel the GD parliamentary group, Speaker Nikos Voutsis stressed “such an unprecedented incident  was not an isolated but it adds to a series of anti-democratic behavior, and reference to threats and violent practices by GD members over the past five years.”

GD entered the parliament in the June elections of 2012.

According to Athens news Agency, with the plenary decision the “Golden Dawn will be considered as absent and have no voting right on the bill.” Majority of other media report that the GD MPs will do vote on Thursday.

State broadcaster ERT reported on Wednesday noon, that strong police forces are guarding the Parliament to avoid a possible raid by Golden Dawn.

GD leader Nikos Michaloliakos described the plenary decision as “unprecedented” claiming it is against the Parliament procedures rules.

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