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Politics

Greek Parliament Lifts Immunity for Nationalist Party Leader

July 29, 2021

ATHENS – The head of Greece's jingoistic Hellenic Solution party, Kyriakos Velopoulos, had immunity against prosecution removed by the Parliament, leading the way to prosecution for his urging people to carry guns to protect themselves against the country's Roma population, sometimes called gypsies.

Two members of the community sued him for those remarks and Velopoulos also offered to waive his immunity to take on the charges that stemmed from him saying that Greeks should be trained in weapons use so that they can open fire “every time the Roma barge” into their homes.

The provocative Velopoulos is also a TV ad pitchman for products including hair growth goods he said work although his hair has thinned to near baldness, and he makes wild claims.

His marginal party, which is politically irrelevant and essentially powerless, has only 10 seats in the 300-member Parliament that's controlled by the ruling New Democracy Conservatives, who have 158 lawmakers.

Nothing's come of it but early in 2020 he was being investigated for extending his TV ad pitch show to claim he has a balm that will protect people from the Coronavirus without offering any proof it does.

A Supreme Court prosecutor ordered the probe after the Attica Pharmacists Association (FSA) lodged a complaint against him for his TV commercial for the balm which is being marketed under the brand name Vyzantinon, as he screams at viewers to buy it.

Velopoulos himself appears in the spot, advertising the antiseptic qualities of the balm, which is said to contain tea tree oil and he said rubbing the cream on your hands twice a day will protect you from the coronavirus.

The FSA said that the ad puts the public’s health at risk by making unsubstantiated claims for the sake of profit although Greek TV is filled with infomercials offering all kinds of creams and oils to cure a range of perceived ills.

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