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Video Shows Athens’ Lawyers Union Chief Held Lockdown Birthday Party

November 24, 2020

ATHENS – With Greece in a quasi-lockdown aimed at slowing the resurging spread of COVID-19, a video has emerged showing the head of the Athens Bar Association holding a mostly maskless birthday party in his office.

Dimitris Anastasopoulos, a member of the association, requested a meeting of the board of directors, said Kathimerini, about the video that showed more than 10 people, also in violation of the lockdown on public gatherings.

The gathering, said the paper, included the family of the lawyers association chief Dimitris Vervesos, singing, celebrating and drinking, only he appearing to wear a mask while others in Greece weren't allowed to do the same.

Under a three-week lockdown that began Nov. 7, people weren't allowed to gather and can't leave home except for permissible missions such as going to supermarkets, banks, pharmacies, doctors or to exercise or walk pets.

“The images we saw the previous days from the office of DSA President are obviously unacceptable. And they will be judged by the competent bodies,” said Anastasopoulos of the lockdown violation that can bring 300-euro  ($356.43) fines.

“However, these are individual behaviors that will be judged during legal proceedings, which in no way reflect the entirety of the Bar Association,” he added, apparently trying to deflect blame for lawyers who are officers of the court and charged with following laws to the letter.

The head of the Athens Prosecutor's Office ordered a preliminary investigation to determine whether Vervesos violated lockdown restrictions despite a video showing that he apparently did.

Vervesos denied he held a party in his office saying that it, was just “my son, my two nieces and office associates with whom I am in daily contact,” trying to explain how it happened. 

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