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Greece’s ruling centre-right party expels MP after airport brawl

Greece’s ruling centre-right party expels MP after airport brawl

Greece’s ruling centre-right party expels MP after airport brawl

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Greece’s ruling center-right party on Wednesday expelled a lawmaker and former minister who allegedly assaulted an airport worker after he refused to board a domestic flight he was late for.

Lefteris Avgenakis, who held the sports and agriculture portfolios, apologised for the incident earlier this month at Athens International Airport. He denied using physical violence against the worker, saying there was only “verbal tension”.

Social media footage reportedly showed Avgenakis, a member of parliament from Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis’ New Democracy party, trying to grab the employee’s phone during the scuffle.

He said he did so because he wanted to speak to the employee’s supervisors “in a last-ditch effort” to get on the flight, which he missed.

Parliament Speaker Constantinos Tassoulas banned Avgenakis from attending legislative sessions for two weeks, calling his behavior at the airport “unacceptable.”

“I know (Avgenakis) has apologized publicly, but I cannot accept the apology,” Tassoulas said.

Avgenakis, who represents a constituency on the southern island of Crete, said on Wednesday he would remain an independent lawmaker and not give up his seat.

After his expulsion, New Democracy will have 157 lawmakers in the 300-seat House of Representatives.

(AP)