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.