The lost honor of modern Greek society
The aftermath of allegations by a 16-year-old schoolgirl in the village of Amarynthos on the island of Evia, that she had been raped by a group of her schoolmates during a sit-in, has revealed the degree of hypocrisy prevailing in Greek society and the lost honor, not of the girl, but of her teachers, the authorities, the parents of other children and the media. Television channels and print media alike have exploited every detail in the race for ratings – statements, depositions, even pornographic videos (the latter on a program on which two politicians were guests). Kangaroo courts ensured that the girl – a Bulgarian immigrant – was subjected to repeated humiliation. Even before the courts had reached their verdict, teachers at her school punished (with a five-day suspension from attendance) not only the accused but their accuser with the excuse that punishing the boys alone «would be tantamount to accepting their guilt.» The vast majority of people in Amarynthos, led by the parents of the accused, made insulting accusations against the girl and ostracized her and her mother, enforcing an unwritten law defending «the honor of our children.» The authorities (Education Ministry, government officials) seem at a loss for words, doing nothing to dispel the image of a country that is xenophobic, divided and indifferent. To those who discriminated against the girl on the basis of her ethnic origins, President Karolos Papoulias cried «Shame.» «We can’t allow our name to be blackened by just a few people who are outside the main moral values of Greek society. We all bear a responsibility. This has to stop,» he said in a statement.