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Politics

Twitter Suspends Greek Party Leader Velopoulos for Misleading Tweets

ATHENS — The provocative leader of Greece's ultra-nationalist Greek Solution party whose TV show promotes dubious health products – including for COVID-19 – had his Twitter account suspended for claiming Greece's fires were set so that more wind turbines could be installed, among other reasons.

Twitter said Kyriakos Velopoulos violated the terms of its use which don't apply to world leaders such as former US President Donald Trump or those in important positions who are allowed to make fraudulent claims because it drives traffic to the site.

In a statement, Greek Solution attributes the suspension to “its recent revelations about wind turbines and the (renewable energy sources) fraud, fires, illegal immigrants” and “our constant reference to issues that the system is diligently trying to hide,” said Kathimerini.

Some Internet users said the fires were started by business people who wanted to profit by installing the wind turbines although the New Democracy government said no building will be allowed on burned land and environmentalists rejected the idea too.

Greek law allows wind turbines to be built in forested areas already, the party not saying what the incentive would be if coming post-fire legislation means that they won't. 

Greek Solution was elected in July 7, 2019 snap elections with 3.7 percent, barely above the 3 percent needed to get into Parliament.

In July, 

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.

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 about other goods he wants people to buy.

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 now.

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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