New Democracy Officials Sue Newspaper, Cite Homophobia Coverage

ATHENS – Two prominent members of Greece’s ruling New Democracy government have sued a sensationalist newspaper, Makeleio, over a page one story trying to tie them indirectly to stage director Dimitris Lignadis, who was convicted of raping two teen boys but set free with a suspended sentence.

The article equated homosexuality with pedophilia, drawing a further rebuke from Alex Patelis, Chief Economic Advisor to Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis and Deputy Minister for Contemporary Culture Nicholas Yatromanolakis.

Both are gay and were seen in a photo in the paper of Lignadis surrounded by other public figures drawing their wrath.

“Homosexuality is not bestiality and it is not a perversion. Equating homosexuality and pedophilia fuels homophobia and homophobic violence. Free speech does not include the right to libel,” Patelis posted on Facebook.

“Until today I ignored articles and headlines like today’s and did not engage further. But perhaps this gives the wrong message,” Yatromanolakis said.

The leniency shown Lignadis drew a furor as he said he will also appeal the conviction, which could take years and he said he was targeted because he was appointed by Culture Minister Lina Mendoni.


ATHENS. Prime Minister Ioannis Sarmas chaired the first full-length meeting of the caretaker cabinet at Maximos Mansion on Saturday.

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