NEWS

Greeks up pimps’ profits

Greece is not only a point of entry and destination for prostituted women but also has a large client base – that supports forced prostitution and international human trafficking with enthusiasm. Over 1 million out of the 3.5 million sexually active Greek men in this country made use of the services of the some 20,000 women forced into prostitution in 1996-2000, with the result that, in that period alone, the sex industry was the gainer to the tune of 1.5 trillion drachmas (4.4 billion euros). This sum climbs to 2.5 trillion drachmas (73.4 billion euros) for the decade as a whole. A study on prostitution and international sex trafficking, commenced 11 years ago by Grigoris Lazos, academic collaborator with the Criminology Department at Panteion University, carried out a survey of the clientele. According to the study, clients tend to be between 40 and 50 years old, and formed the initial client base for the rise in prostitution in large cities such as Piraeus, Athens, Thessaloniki and Patras and in the provinces after 1993. In the four-year period of 1997-2000, the client ratio of urban center to periphery was 70-30, though the provinces paid more for sexual services. Over the past decade, 200 million payments were made by men availing themselves of the services of prostitutes. About 10 percent of men demanded young women, but the majority simply stipulated that the women should not be over 30. Age was one reason why a generation of young Greek women sprang up who offered their services from the home and worked on and off, explained Lazos. As a result, there has been a rise in the number of Greek sex workers. – Frequent mood changes.