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Greek diplomat fired over 'Swedish women' slur

TT/The Local · 16 Apr 2011, 08:59

Published: 16 Apr 2011 08:59 GMT+02:00

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Sweden's TV 4 recently reported about a Swedish woman who accused a Greek man on the island of Samos for rape. A Swedish doctor found signs of injury to her genitals when she returned to Sweden. The Greek man was arrested and later released. The women was then sued for slander.

In response to the situation, news agency TT reported that Jan Tordsson from Växjö sent a protest letter to the Greece embassy in Stockholm. A high diplomat in the embassy responded: “On the contrary my friend, it is you who should be ashamed over Swedish womens' behaviour, on vacation in all parts of the world and with what they do with foreigners in their own country.”

The man told TV 4 that he was “completely shocked. He is insulting half of the Swedish people,” he said.

After news of the letter leaked out, the Greek ambassador to Sweden fired the diplomat. According to the embassy's press secretary, his views and conclusions about Swedish women were not shared by the embassy.

A rumor is circulating in Greece that Scandinavian women can insure themselves against rape, and then report the men to receive money.

Story continues below…

The accused Swedish woman has been called to court in Samos in May, but has confirmed that she no plans to attend.

TT/The Local (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

10:01 April 16, 2011 by peruzzijay
Thats the kind of notion people tend to develop about Sweden, when the only crime that seems to occur in Sweden is always associated with rape. Actually, not all those rape really occured.

However, a real investigation has to be carried out, to know the details about any of those reports.
11:50 April 16, 2011 by johnny1939
I do not understand why Swedish women have such a funny reputation in many parts of the world. Most of them are straightforward and honest and no "sex fiends" I guess they have to be extra careful when traveling. The most "lightfooted" females that I have encountered are the British. Of course this is a personal opinion and I am not making any claims that they are all are like that. So please do not yell at me.
12:21 April 16, 2011 by RobinHood
People used to associate Swedes with blondes, Björn Borg and Abba.

Swedes are now much more famous for accusing foreigners of raping them.
13:54 April 16, 2011 by jack sprat
I suppose guys from other countries get the impression that Swedish birds are easy,...whereas guys already living in Sweden know for sure they are.
14:22 April 16, 2011 by cogito
@#2 "I do not understand why Swedish women have such a funny reputation in many parts of the world...."

Uhhhh, you really don't understand? The world is wrong. Of course.
14:49 April 16, 2011 by eppie
Since when did we start trusting the greeks?

I read the previous article on this topic in the local yesterday, and it seems to me more a question of another corrupt Mediterranean country where you only have rights if you are really rich and/or are from an old fascist family. (which is about half the population in those countries).

And to the whining american and english expats here; why don't you go and find a job in Greece so that you can enjoy their honest attitude year round.
15:27 April 16, 2011 by foordranata
All scancinavian women were with their asses up against the fence to get by foreigners.

It´s no secret.
15:31 April 16, 2011 by Rebel
Not sure why Swedish women have the reputation they do. Most remain virgins until marriage and never cheat on their husbands, never get drunk in public and wear modest clothing.
15:39 April 16, 2011 by technoviking
Um... they're Greek.

Who cares?
15:43 April 16, 2011 by Iraniboy
Here we go again!! One Swedish woman falsely accuses a Greek man of rape and now some bigoted posters make a general statement about all Swedish woman!!
16:28 April 16, 2011 by Kevin Harris
More Swedish women, per capita, say they have been raped than in any other EU country. Maybe they just unlucky. Maybe there is another reason for this weird statistic. In any event, the young lady did not help her cause by skipping the country the day after making her complaint, and before submitting to a local medical examination. In those circumstances, the Greek police, quite reasonably dropped the charges.

However, the young lady should voluntarily return to Greece in May for her own trial for making a false accusation. If she doesn't she should be extradited. She would expect no less of her "rapist". Rape and the false accusation of rape are very serious matters, and both should be properly investigated by the law and the perpetrators punished.
16:49 April 16, 2011 by Daniel_sweden
Kevin Harris: It´s the definition of rape/sexual abuse that differ. We have strict rules in Sweden when we are talking about rape. When a woman is too drunk, said No etc it is a rape case if you do anything. We do not have have grey zones as many other countries, where you can rape your wife without getting jailed for it. The statistics say another thing as well, our women do press charges if they get raped which is good, other nationalities maybe don´t for different reasons. Many countries in Eu/Europe have "ancient" legislation if you look at their handling with rape cases/convictions.Q: If your daughter would have been raped in a foreign country and calls home, do you say stay or come home to us?
16:55 April 16, 2011 by babychuma
I'm always surprised how women let down their guard when on vacation, be careful ladies!!
19:04 April 16, 2011 by city_walker
Thanks, Daniel_sweden, I also think this is the case...
19:17 April 16, 2011 by Nilspet
@ Daniel_sweden

Let's be objective here. Since the case was dropped by the authority in Greece we will have to accept that just like we have to accept that the Swedish authority pursues the Assange case intensely. If we expect Assange to be handed over (against his will) to Sweden to answer questions, I think we should encourage this Anna to go to Greece to clear her name. Maybe she will come out clean who knows? Greece is an EU member state so we must respect their legal system as much as we expect the British court to respect ours. I disagree with you that many countries in Europe have ancient legislation about rapes. Sweden has not yet seen a female prime minister during its entire history ... what say you?

Strangely there are 46 rape cases per 100 000 inhabitants in Sweden. It is twice as many as the figure for UK who is a runner-up. What does this figure represent really? Researchers should try to figure what is the underlying reason that Sweden tops the European rape league ... it is unfortunate of course.

I certainly do not like word wars between countries, and I think the Swedish authority should just ignore personal opinions of the fired Greek diplomat. We believe in freedom of speech so he can say anything he wants of course but since he already lost his job as a consequence..so it should end there.

Previously there was also a case in which some English guys got in trouble with a Swedish girl in Greece as reported by Telegraph

19:47 April 16, 2011 by Kevin Harris

Thanks for the help. And there was me thinking that Sweden's sexual offences laws were so out of line with EU normality that, after they were savaged in the English courts last month, Reinfeld found it necessary to reassure the Swedish parliament that Swedish law was "not unfair".

Now I know that far from being normal, the law as applied in the rest of the EU is in fact "ancient", and that it is enlightened Sweden (the rape capital of the world, according to Swedish own crime statistics), that has got it right.

Of course everybody who actually lives in Sweden knows there are no more rapes in Sweden than anywhere else; and probably less. As Swedes are learning now, if you obviously manipulate the rape statistics to artificially increase the number of reported rapes, the rest of the world learns to mistrust anything Swedes have to say on the matter, and Swedish women have trouble getting foreign police to take their rape claims seriously. That is a very sad situation, and needs to be quickly addressed. This women is not the only Swedish woman to be disbelieved by suspicious foreign police. They are victims of their own government's nutty rape statistic.

Please do not involve my daughters in a debate concerning rape. Where I come from, "ancient" though we may be, many people take exception to such reckless impertinence.
19:56 April 16, 2011 by orionorbit
"Since when did we start trusting the greeks?

I read the previous article on this topic in the local yesterday, and it seems to me more a question of another corrupt Mediterranean country where you only have rights if you are really rich and/or are from an old fascist family. (which is about half the population in those countries).

And to the whining american and english expats here; why don't you go and find a job in Greece so that you can enjoy their honest attitude year round."

Hi. I come from Greece. You are a racist scum, or some Greek dude was screwing your wife, probably both. This is plain and simple: a "he said she said" case with no other evidence than the victim's testimony and you say we should believe the Swedish person because Greeks are untrustworthy fascists. W T F???

Oh btw, for you Swedish people out there, a couple of notes on the Greek criminal Justice system. First, the burden of proof in Greece is much higher than in Sweden, i.e. if you are victim of a crime, don't expect a prosecutor to bother unless there is evidence or a witness that is not one of your friends. Also rape can be brought before court as a charge if and only if there has been coercion either by force or blackmail, being drunk does not entitle you to anything. On the other hand punishments are much harsher, a rapist will probably stay in jail for 3-4 years longer then he would in Sweden - which is why the burden of proof is so high, we don't like to lock up people for life unless we are absolutely positive they are guilty.
22:46 April 16, 2011 by Nkosazana
lol the Greek complains about racism.
23:44 April 16, 2011 by Syftfel
As the saying goes, There's No Smoke Witout Fire. I'm now beginning to wonder, what do Swedish women really do when they go to Greece? I need to find out. Gnoti Seavton.
04:01 April 17, 2011 by BigBilly
" Greece is an EU member state so we must respect their legal system as much as we expect the British court to respect ours."

This is total bulls droppings. How does being a member of EU mean you must respect their legal system? Who died and made EU the sole arbiter of a judicial system?
08:35 April 17, 2011 by eppie

Please learn how to read. I said half....half means 50% 1 in every 2.

Your second paragraph exactly explains why I am right. Your laws are more comparable to those in the middle east then to EU laws. Especially when it considers male/female issues. You call it heavy burden of proof, I call it outdated.

We had your rules 200 years ago.

And this is exactly the reason why I wouldn't trust the greeks in this case. (that saying, all I know about this case are these articles).
10:40 April 17, 2011 by orionorbit

come on. You're calling half of Greeks fascists and expect me to believe you have an IQ above 30?? Seriously?

@BigBilly. You shouldn't respect our legal system because we are a member of the EU, but because by entering Greece you willingly put yourself under the jurisdiction of the Greek criminal justice system.
11:11 April 17, 2011 by Nilspet

Indeed Greece and Sweden have equal status as full members of the EU so that is why we have to respect their justice system as much as we expect others to respect ours. That the UK court had to spend its public money on the Assange case was because of the respect to the Swedish justice system (to lots of British citizens it is waste of their tax money which could have been spent for something else). Now, this incident took place in Greece so it is the Greek law that applies. We have to wait and see if they will demand this lady to appear in court in Greece or not. Do not think we are more superior than any other member state in the EU regardless of our economic status, etc. What the Greek diplomat said (that became news) is a completely different thing (that was his own opinion) from this legal case and it is up to the Greek how they want to pursue it.
11:23 April 17, 2011 by johnny1939
Am so totally sick of EU!!!!
12:00 April 17, 2011 by eppie

Well your childish name calling and personal attacks don't make me respect the Greeks anymore.

And I won't even explain you that you again were not able to understand what I wrote. Maybe you should read some history books.

You are right though that people going on holiday to Greece should respect the laws.

I am hesitant to visit Greece, the same way I am hesitant visiting Morocco or Turkey.
12:14 April 17, 2011 by cogito
Another Local misleading headline.

The Greek diplomat was not fired.

He was moved to a different posting or put on leave.
12:19 April 17, 2011 by zx81

"You call it heavy burden of proof, I call it outdated. We had your rules 200 years ago."

LOL, yes, locking people up without any evidence other than the word of the accuser. That's the Swedish way. How advanced. How fair.

I guess it's fine until you're the one accused!
12:56 April 17, 2011 by glamelixir
What I am surprised about - besides what kind of education did this guy exactly undergo to become an embassador - is the amount of narrow minded comments about "women behavior" in this thread.

What is this all about? Women that are "light footed"? women that are easy? What?

I feel an urge to remind that beyond our gender, we are individuals, and that every individual has the right to live their sexuality however they please.

Now refering to rape, I wonder where are you people drawing the line. I guess that in most culturally undeveloped countries rape is only consider as a fact if a woman is violently assaulted in the street. Any person who is forced to have sex against their will, either by physical or psychological abuse, even by a partner, is being raped.

Just to limit the level of stupidity I might encounter the next time I open this thread I will just clarify:

1- I am a woman.

2- I am NOT Swedish.

3- I have never had a one night stand, and still I can respect people that decide to do so.

4- I have a Swedish husband who never had a one night stand either.

It is not a matter of gender, neither of nationality. It is a matter of respecting individualities, and reducing the prejudice to "otherness".

For being a bunch of discriminated foreigners, you do a pretty good job when it comes to judging Swedish people.

Adapt, understand or get the hell out of this country.
13:43 April 17, 2011 by Nilspet
@ glamelixir

Your last sentence sounds as if you yourself do not respect individual (be it male or female) opinions. In Sweden everyone has the right to express their personal concerns, opinions, thoughts, ... there is no point trying to kick out people just because they think differently than you do. No one cares whether you/your husband has had a one-night stand or not as it is entirely your own private business. The law will not discriminate anyone who practice a one-night stand either. What is ugly sometimes is that someone (male/female individual) accuses someone else of rape when it is a consensual act. This is probably why many people try to make their voices (against this kind of horrible accusation) heard.

If I understand right the Greek ambassador to Sweden is a woman and this news article is about an attache who was removed from his post by the Greek authority based on his response to an impolite email (and perhaps a call from a journalist) sent to him (his division). The Greek authority already made a decision concerning him (probably made by the ambassador herself) so the world "ambassador" you used is not correct.

We can wish of course that the Swedish lady in question would not be required to turn up in a Greek court to face charges. In case the Greek authority wants her then Sweden will have to assist them in handing her over to Greece. If she is 100% honest then she should not worry about going there. Let's be objective.
15:11 April 17, 2011 by DAVID T
@ glamelixir

How do you know your husband never had a one night stand?
20:02 April 17, 2011 by orionorbit
@ glamelixir

The comments of the diplomat are completely out of line. But keep in mind that we are really fed up with tourists getting drunk and breaking the law - and judging from the statistics it's not the Japanese, Chinese or Italian tourists that behave like animals - so it is likely that the diplomat was negatively predisposed. That said, I'm not defending what she did, it was completely outrageous.

On the other hand, the incident took place in Greece. We don't give a damn what the Swedish laws say - just like I respect Swedish law in Sweden, Swedes have to respect Greek law in Greece, Chinese law in China, US law in the US etc. Swedish law clearly stipulates that rape cannot be brought in front of court in absence of witnesses or evidence pointing to the defendant. The victim's word, under Greek law, is not enough.

Now to your "where you draw the line question", Greek law is very clear.

Regarding the merits of a specific case, when it comes to locking up somebody for 5-10 years (in a real prison, not a Swedish one), we draw the line to being sure beyond reasonable doubt that the defendant is guilty.

When it comes to defining rape, we define it as sexual intercourse of any kind, we draw the line on the answer to the question of whether intercourse would have taken place were it not for some coercion on behalf of the rapist. Rape through the use of force is illegal. Rape through threats of bodily harm or any kind of blackmail is also illegal.

Having sex with a drunk person is not illegal. if no coercion is employed. A drunk person is still accountable for their actions to the same extent that a sober person is. She can't wake up the next day and say "hey, i didn't object to having sex because I was drunk". Greek law doesn't provide special protection for drunk people, only for people under 16 and mentally incapacitated.

On the other hand, raping your wife is illegal. Threatening to fire someone if they don't have sex with you is also illegal. Raping someone with provocative clothes is illegal. Raping someone who has slept with every man on earth is illegal. So get your facts straight before you begin assuming really stupid stuff about a legal system you obviously have no clue about.

And also consider that when found guilty - BEYOND REASONABLE DOUBT - rapists in Greece face real prison sentences in real prisons, not the complete mockery of justice which is being sent to a 1 year holiday in a Swedish prison.
13:33 April 18, 2011 by Marc the Texan
Hahaha... Those Greek diplomats are so naive. Didn't he know he'd have to take it in the rear for making such a statement in Sweden. The way he's acting in Sweden is in parallel to the way a naive Swedish girl may act in Greece.
21:24 April 18, 2011 by Zhorka
I suggest that Swedish women are required to wear chastity belts when on visits to other countries.
07:22 April 19, 2011 by dw
I like Greek food.
02:20 December 9, 2011 by Ellin
I am Greek and I can tell you this. ALL Greeks are corrupt in the full sense of the word: nepotism, scams, giving bribes, taking bribes, lawbreaking on a daily basis. I repeat, ALL OF THEM. If you Swedes had any sense you would throw them all out so they can return to cesspit from whence they came.
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