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Thread: MeToo in Greece

  1. #1
    Member Member Crandar's Avatar
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    May 2014
    Alpine Subtundra

    Default MeToo in Greece
    To summarise, the revelations of Sofia Bekatorou, a former sailing champion, about sexual harassment inside the Hellenic Sailing Federation sparked a wave of accusations about sexual harassment involving prominent figures of the society. The list includes university professors (including one I knew personally and visited him often in his office), journalists and actors. In fact, most of the cases involve theater actors, who enjoy a very prestigious position among Greeks for various reasons.

    The most controversial case (involving rape of adults and minors) concerned Lignadis, the director of the National Theater, who was appointed directly by the Minister of Culture, after having scrapped the legislation forbidding such direct and not very transparent nominations. Lignadis' case quickly devolved into a political scandal, as, when the first reports surfaced, the government backed up Lignadis. When the first complaint was filed (although the crime had already expired), Lignadis finally resigned and the Ministry endorsed his official excuse: resignation for personal issues.

    Only when the first complaint, for which Lignadis was still liable to be imprisoned, was filed, did the Minister of Education make an official announcement on the case, claiming that Lignadis is a dangerous person, who manipulated her with his amazing acting skills... Quite a clumsy statement, which unsurprisingly convinced many (including politicians friendly to the incumbent government) to demand her resignation as well. However, in a rather unexpected manner, the Prime-Minister backed his Minister and kept her in the government. In the meantime, Lignadis has already been imprisoned.

    Generally speaking, Greek society is very conservative on these issues, coming out of the closet is extremely rare and sexual violence is often blamed to the victim. These revelations and the overwhelming support they received show that the situation is gradually improving and slightly brighter days might wait for us on this regard. On the other hand, the support Lignadis and the minister received from the head of the government shows that the elite is not very sensitive to these issues.

    The same prime-minister, Mitsotakis, was implicated in a similar scandal a few years ago, when one of his former aides was accused for hiring underage escorts in Moldavia. Members of the party testified in his favour and the accused himself announced that Mitsotakis had advised him to stay low, until the storm passes. Similarly, Lignadis was not only appointed by the government, but also belongs to the social circles of the prime-minister, which might explain the unwillingness of the government to ditch him and the minister of education.

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