ATHENS, Greece (AP) – The Greek Prime Minister promised major changes to the country’s laws and labor regulations to combat sexual abuse and misconduct on Thursday for a nationwide debate.
Conservative Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said in parliament the government would introduce stricter guidelines on sentencing, propose changes to statute of limitations for cases involving minors, and create a dedicated government agency to deal with job abuse claims and organized youth activities.
Several cases of suspected sexual misconduct and abuse have been made public since former Olympian Bekatorou alleged she was sexually assaulted by a national sailing federation official in 1998.
The allegations include other athletes, current and former university students, and stage actors.
Mitsotakis said reports that unaccompanied minors were vulnerable to abuse in migrant camps on Greek islands also motivated him to act.
“There were children in the camps … and in Greek cities who were exploited for sex for 5 and 10 euros,” the Prime Minister told the legislature. He found that children and young people traveling alone no longer live in the island camps or are detained in police cells for protection, but have supervised separate living spaces.
The reports include a 51-page document from the Francois Xavier Bagnoud Center for Health and Human Rights at Harvard University from 2017, citing camp informants, which gave serious indications of child abuse in Greek migrant camps.
On Thursday, a former director of the Greek National Theater appeared before a prosecutor to respond to child abuse allegations.
The 56-year-old suspect, who denies any wrongdoing, was arrested on Saturday and remains in police custody.
Opposition parties have demanded that Mitsotakis replace his minister of culture over the alleged scandal. A government official told the AP on Thursday that new condemnation guidelines and details of the proposed legislative changes would be announced “in the coming days”.
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