Church attacks city on brothels

Top Church officials yesterday denounced as a plan to promote «sex tourism» a drive by Athens municipal authorities for laxer laws to facilitate the legitimate functioning of the capital’s brothels during the 2004 Games. The matter was raised by Archbishop Christodoulos during a session of the Holy Synod, the Church of Greece’s governing body. «[The municipal authorities’ campaign] constitutes an insult to the city of Athens and conveys the impression that the country’s largest municipality is showing an untoward interest in sex tourism,» a Synod statement said. «This decision will only satisfy the gangs of procurers that carry out an unchecked traffic in young foreign women.» Municipal authorities countered that they only wanted a more realistic prostitution law to replace current legislation that is largely ignored. «Our decision is intended to stop the unlicensed functioning of brothels,» the City Council said in a statement. «The Holy Synod was obviously not fully aware of our decisions and intentions.»