Poet accused of racist remarks says words twisted, transcript backs her up

Acclaimed poet Kiki Dimoula, whose alleged comments regarding migrants in the Athens neighborhood of Kypseli caused a stir on Tuesday, has hit back, claiming her words were misinterpreted.

Dimoula suggested that the reporting of her comments, in which she apparently suggested there were too many migrants in Kypseli, was “ill-intentioned.”

Ta Nea newspaper ran a full transcript of the poet’s comments during a walk through Kypseli organized by the Atenistas urban activists.

In the transcript, Dimoula refers to her sister and husband being mugged by foreigners.

“These are isolated incidents but fear does not have limits,” she said. “I am not trying to say that foreigners in Kypseli are thieves.”

The poet then adds: “However, if you go to Kypseli Square, there is no room to move. Foreigners sit on the benches, which is to be expected as they need to pass the time somehow, and they play their own card games.”

Dimoula concludes, “Of course, we love foreigners because they left their countries to come here to work and live but we have to find a way to share the spaces.”

Dimoula has been a member of the Academy of Athens since 2002 and was awarded the European Prize for Literature in 2009.