NEWS

Nikolopoulos apologizes for ‘extreme’ tweet, defends homophobic views

An independent Greek deputy who insulted Luxembourg’s Prime Minister Xavier Bettel on Twitter on Wednesday apologized for his “extreme” language, but he said the sentiment remained.

In a letter sent to Bettel this week, Nikos Nikolopoulos, a former New Democracy lawmaker and vice president of the right-wing Union for the Homeland and the People, said he was sorry about the comment adding that it did not reflect his “usual manners.”

“However, I will not apologize for my solid and straightforward views which triggered my electronic message,” said Nikolopoulos who described himself as a longtime defender of the values of the nation, religion and family.

In late August, the Greek MP commented on the Luxembourg premier’s decision to marry his partner by tweeting, “From the Europe of nations to the Europe of faggots.”

The Greek deputy subsequently came under fire by other users of the social network for his comment but was unrepentant, issuing a longer statement in which he raged against the possibility of Greece following other European countries and allowing civil partnerships between same-sex couples.

Bettel had played down the matter by tweeting that relations between Greece and Luxembourg “won’t be affected by the comments of an isolated politician.”

In his letter this week, Nikolopoulos spoke of “gross hyperbole” in people’s sexual preferences conducted in the name of human rights.

He also invited Betel to take part in an upcoming event on racism organized by his party.