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Greek PM on Olympic Athlete’s Revelations: Violence Undermines Our Culture’s Foundation

January 16, 2021

ATHENS – Violence is "a scourge that undermines the foundation of our culture," Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said on Saturday in a social media post, expressing his support for multiple Olympic Games medallist Sofia Bekatorou, who has spoken up about being sexually abused by a sports official when younger.

Bekatorou said that the incident happened during her preparations for the Sydney Olympic Games (2000), and did not name the official.

The prime minister was one of several officials who expressed support to her after her revelations, including Minister Culture & Sports Lina Mendoni, Deputy Minister of Sports Lefteris Avgenakis, Deputy Minister for Demographic Policy and the Family Maria Syrengela, and Movement for Change (KINAL) leader Fofi Gennimata, among others.

In his post on Facebook, PM Mitsotakis said "Sofia bravely broke the chain of fear and silence, showing the way so that the stigma of guilt moves from the victim to the perpetrator."

"I personally spoke with our champion about that painful experience," the premier said, an experience "that she didn't just 'remember' now, but one she never forgot – as no one should forget, but ought to react to. That's why I stand next to her – not just as a prime minister, but also as a husband, a father, and an ordinary citizen."

It's time to uproot power violence against anyone in a weak position, he said, calling violence "a scourge that undermines the foundation of our culture" and calling on everyone to "take Sofia's first step: We speak up, we denounce, we reveal, so that the light of truth burns up forever a crime that lives in the dark."

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