Sunday

3rd Mar 2024

Greek MP hurls homophobic insults at Luxembourg PM

  • Rainbow flag at Greek pride march (Photo: Ira Gelb)

A Greek MP waged a homophobic twitter war on Luxembourg prime minister Xavier Bettel on Thursday (28 August), prompting a backlash on the social media site.

"From a Europe of nation states to a Europe of ... faggots!! The prime minister of Luxemburg is engaged with his darling!!" Nikos Nikolopoulos, the president of the conservative Greek Christian-Democratic party, tweeted.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Get the EU news that really matters

Instant access to all articles — and 20 years of archives. 14-day free trial.

... or subscribe as a group

Last week, Bettel revealed that he and his partner would take advantage of Luxembourg’s recently adopted gay marriage law, which comes into effect in January 2015.

The Nikolopoulos tweet was forwarded to Bettel who later replied: “Hello, I heard you want to tell me something, but I don’t speak Greek. Sorry”.

Nikopoulos was bombarded with crticisim on the social media site.

One user, Stefanos Livos, said “Not all Greeks are … morons like @NikNikolopoulos”.

Dimitris Kourkoulas, Greece’s deputy foreign minister, tweeted: “@Xavier_Bettel Dear PM,thanks for helping us unveiling the dirty face of some of our ‘politicians’.”

Bettel himself added: “Relations between GR & LUX and with @PrimeministerGR are perfect and won't be affected by the comments of an isolated politician”.

But Nikopoulos posted another, scarcely more temperate message: "After the sleazy attacks and barrage of insults I respond: 'From a Europe of nations to a Europe of fags' … In other words those who provoke shame.”

Nikopoulos is a former deputy labour minister in Antonis Samaras’s government and was considered a close ally of the Greek prime minister before resigning in opposition to the terms of Greece’s bailout.

He is also well known for his outspoken views on gay rights.

The MP is currently campaigning against an anti-hate crime bill which is set to include tougher sentences for those who commit homophobic or racist acts.

The bill “will be the end for the institution of the family”, Nikopoulos has warned.

Greece has seen a surge in homophobic attacks in the past year, with the increase blamed, in part, on the rise of fascist party Golden Dawn.

Bettel, along with Belgium’s Elio Di Rupo, are the only two openly gay EU leaders.

A recent survey by Ilga-Europe, a rights NGO, noted that countries in east and south-east Europe tended to scored the lowest in terms of pro-gay rights legislation.

Brussels overlooks gay marriage in new rights bill

New European Commission proposals to put an end to discrimination on the basis of age, disability, sexual orientation or creed have been given a lukewarm welcome by civil liberties groups, who say prejudice against same-sex couples who wish to get married is not adequately covered.

Belgrade gay pride a 'milestone'

Gay people in Serbia held a march in Belgrade on Sunday in what has been described as a “milestone” in the country's history.

'Outdated' rules bar MEP from entering plenary with child

During a plenary session in Strasbourg, an MEP was denied access to the chamber because he was carrying his young child, due to unforeseen circumstances. The episode shows parliament's rules need to be updated, several MEPs told EUobserver.

New EU social security coordination rules hit a dead end

The clock is ticking and MEPs want to agree new rules to update the EU's social security coordination, but the file has been left unfinished under 12 EU presidencies — and the Belgian presidency won't be the exception.

Opinion

Why are the banking lobby afraid of a digital euro?

Europeans deserve a digital euro that transcends the narrow interests of the banking lobby and embodies the promise of a fairer and more competitive monetary and financial landscape.

Opinion

For Ukraine's sake, pass the EU due diligence directive

The EU Commission's 2022 CSDDD proposal did not include provisions incorporating "conflict due diligence", they were added, after the Russian invasion, by the European Parliament and Council into the final directive text — for Ukraine's sake, vote for it.

Latest News

  1. EU docks €32m in funding to UN Gaza agency pending audit
  2. 'Outdated' rules bar MEP from entering plenary with child
  3. Commission plays down row over Rwanda minerals pact
  4. EU socialists set to anoint placeholder candidate
  5. Why are the banking lobby afraid of a digital euro?
  6. Deepfake dystopia — Russia's disinformation in Spain and Italy
  7. Putin's nuclear riposte to Macron fails to impress EU diplomats
  8. EU won't yet commit funding UN agency in Gaza amid hunger

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersJoin the Nordic Food Systems Takeover at COP28
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersHow women and men are affected differently by climate policy
  3. Nordic Council of MinistersArtist Jessie Kleemann at Nordic pavilion during UN climate summit COP28
  4. Nordic Council of MinistersCOP28: Gathering Nordic and global experts to put food and health on the agenda
  5. Friedrich Naumann FoundationPoems of Liberty – Call for Submission “Human Rights in Inhume War”: 250€ honorary fee for selected poems
  6. World BankWorld Bank report: How to create a future where the rewards of technology benefit all levels of society?

Join EUobserver

EU news that matters

Join us