x

Politics

Greek Sex Scandals Ignite Debate, New Democracy Offers Reforms

February 25, 2021

ATHENS – As the former director of Greece’s National Theatre – facing rape charges that include a minor – was set to make his defense, the under-fire New Democracy government said it would put forth legislation to make it easier for victims to report cases.

That came as a raft of sex abuse cases poured out of a number of sectors including sports, the media and the arts community, the government blamed for a slow response to that of Dimitris Lignadis, who stepped down as the head of the national theater.

Many of the charges are being made anonymously and while it’s uncertain when they allegedly occurred the initial claims featured those from years ago, long before the current government took power in July 7, 2019 snap elections.

Still, the major opposition SYRIZA – which passed laws just before being ousted reducing the penalties for rape – called for Culture Minister Lina Mendoni, who hired Lignadis, to step down.

The government and rival parties were set to be locked into a debate on Feb. 25 at the same time that Lignadis’ lawyer, famed celebrity and criminal attorney Alexis Kougias has already said the case should be dismissed because the alleged victims “were Egyptians.”

He earlier said witnesses against his client were “professional homosexuals,” and that Lignadis was innocent without saying why his client resigned his position, and as reports surfaced of more abuse cases in the arts.

Kougias, described the allegations as a “crude fabrication” and filed for his arrest warrant to be revoked. He also claimed that he can prove his client was not present when the alleged incidents occurred without disputing that they did or who may have perpetrated them.

Under Greek law, suspects are not named before trial unless exceptions are made to serve the public interest or they voluntarily identify themselves to assist their defense, a rule almost always broken when politicians fight.

Multiple cases of alleged sexual misconduct and abuse have been made public since Greek Olympic sailing champion Sofia Bekatorou alleged that she had been sexually assaulted by a sailing federation official in 1998.

Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis is standing by Mendoni, who hand-picked Lignadis, the Premier nevertheless saying his government would propose legal changes help victims of sex crimes come forward easier.

The cases of Lignadis and Bekatarou have added to a growing #MeToo movement in Greece about alleged sexual offenses, many said to have been committed by men in power toward women, but also men.

(Material from the Associated Press was used in this report)

RELATED

ATHENS – The major opposition SYRIZA's constant attacks on New Democracy ahead of the mid-2023 elections isn't paying off, with a survey showing the Conservatives having an 8.

Top Stories

Columnists

A pregnant woman was driving in the HOV lane near Dallas.

General News

FALMOUTH, MA – The police in Falmouth have identified the victim in an accident involving a car plunging into the ocean on February 20, NBC10 Boston reported.

General News

NEW YORK – Meropi Kyriacou, the new Principal of The Cathedral School in Manhattan, was honored as The National Herald’s Educator of the Year.

Video

After Amazon, Google’s First Cloud Region Coming to Greece

ATHENS - Despite having a costly Internet that’s the slowest in the European Union, Greece is continuing to attract high-tech giants, with Alphabet’s Google planning to create its first cloud region in the country.

Enter your email address to subscribe

Provide your email address to subscribe. For e.g. abc@xyz.com

You may unsubscribe at any time using the link in our newsletter.