Sex, lies, and DVDs rock Greece

AFP/Getty Images We always love a good, old-fashioned international sex scandal here at Passport, be it in Tehran, Kuala Lumpur, Bangkok, or Hong Kong. Now, it’s Greece’s turn, and it may be the most fascinating one yet. Here’s the story: A young woman slept with the general secretary of the culture ministry in the hopes ...

596478_080214_greece2.jpg
596478_080214_greece2.jpg

AFP/Getty Images

We always love a good, old-fashioned international sex scandal here at Passport, be it in Tehran, Kuala Lumpur, Bangkok, or Hong Kong.

Now, it's Greece's turn, and it may be the most fascinating one yet. Here's the story: A young woman slept with the general secretary of the culture ministry in the hopes of obtaining a permanent job (judging by his photo, left, that had to be the only reason). When he didn't follow through, she recorded her encounters with him on a DVD, allegedly to blackmail him, and ended up taking it to the press. Most journalists wouldn't work with her, but a copy of the DVD somehow found its way to the prime minister's office. Once the official being blackmailed got wind of this, he resigned and jumped from his balcony in a suicide attempt. He's now in the hospital recovering, but the scandal has penetrated Greek society deeper than anyone anticipated.

AFP/Getty Images

We always love a good, old-fashioned international sex scandal here at Passport, be it in Tehran, Kuala Lumpur, Bangkok, or Hong Kong.

Now, it’s Greece’s turn, and it may be the most fascinating one yet. Here’s the story: A young woman slept with the general secretary of the culture ministry in the hopes of obtaining a permanent job (judging by his photo, left, that had to be the only reason). When he didn’t follow through, she recorded her encounters with him on a DVD, allegedly to blackmail him, and ended up taking it to the press. Most journalists wouldn’t work with her, but a copy of the DVD somehow found its way to the prime minister’s office. Once the official being blackmailed got wind of this, he resigned and jumped from his balcony in a suicide attempt. He’s now in the hospital recovering, but the scandal has penetrated Greek society deeper than anyone anticipated.

The Greek government tried to spin this as “a sex scandal blown out of proportion,” but the public just isn’t buying it. The tape submitted to prosecutors as evidence was found to have been edited, raising suspicions the government is hiding something, possibly revelations about graft and corruption. The culture ministry official, whose finances and other possibly shady deals are now under investigation, had controlled significant amounts of EU and Greek funds and had close ties to Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis.

The scandal has sent the government’s approval rating below 30 percent, the worst level since it came to power in 2004 — ironically, on an anti-corruption platform. With the ministry official’s resignation, the ruling party is down to 151 seats out of 300, a bare majority.

While corruption has been a huge topic of discussion, others see an opportunity to shed light on Greece‘s treatment of women. A woman formerly in construction management put the country’s problem this way to Reuters:

You study, you work hard and still you have to let someone grab your butt to rise.”

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