Saturday

15th Aug 2020

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

Support quality EU news

Get 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.

EU court bars tests for gay asylum seekers

Authorities in EU countries can no longer impose controversial psychological tests to determine whether an aslyum seeker is telling the truth about their homosexuality.

LGBTI protection still lacking in EU

Despite some welcome advances, some legal rights for the LGBTI community are lacking in EU member states, and the rise of the populist right is making things worse, conference in Warsaw is told.

News in Brief

  1. Most EU states oppose US sanctions on Russia pipeline
  2. UK imposes quarantine on France, Netherlands, Malta
  3. At least 3.5m EU nationals to stay in UK
  4. UK urged to 'calm down' on migrants
  5. Pompeo starts EU tour with anti-Chinese 5G deal
  6. Dutch lawsuit seeks billions from tech firms
  7. Amazon people urge EU banks to stop funding pollution
  8. Russia vaccine could be "dangerous", Germany says

Opinion

The dangers of resurgent nationalism in Greece

Virulent nationalism in Greece has been stirred up in the context of austerity and renewed negotiations with Macedonia. Recent attempts by the government to address the inequalities suffered by LGBT persons have also been met with a reactionary backlash.

Supported by

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. UNESDANext generation Europe should be green and circular
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersNEW REPORT: Eight in ten people are concerned about climate change
  3. UNESDAHow reducing sugar and calories in soft drinks makes the healthier choice the easy choice
  4. Nordic Council of MinistersGreen energy to power Nordic start after Covid-19
  5. European Sustainable Energy WeekThis year’s EU Sustainable Energy Week (EUSEW) will be held digitally!
  6. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic states are fighting to protect gender equality during corona crisis

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us