EOPPEP CEO accused of religious discrimination


The CEO of a state agency faces criminal charges of religious discrimination under Greece’s anti-racism law for allegedly forcing her employees to remove all religious symbols from public view.

The charges stem from an accusation made against Elena Giannakopoulou of the Organization for the Certification of Qualifications and Vocational Guidance (EOPPEP) in August by an employee who said her superior had tossed a painting of the Virgin Mary into the trash after having reprimanded her for displaying the icon in public sight.

Other employees at the agency backed the allegations, telling investigators who started probing the claims made to the Education Ministry that Giannakopoulou was systematically persecuting employees for expressing their religious beliefs, going so far as to snatch a cross from another female employee’s neck.

This case represents the first time Greece’s anti-racism law is being applied to religious discrimination.