Cyprus Mail

CyBC fined for inciting racial hatred

Actor Costakis Constantinou

PUBLIC broadcaster CyBC has been fined €3,000 for inciting racial hatred after a talk-show guest expressed support for a Greek neo-Nazi party.

Migrant support group KISA complained to the broadcasting watchdog after comedian Costakis Constantinou declared his support for the ultranationalist Golden Dawn party.

During a June 16 appearance on ‘Mazi me tin Elita’ (Live With Elita), Constantinou also said that “too much democracy is an illness for a country”.

The comedian, best known for his long-running old lady cross-dressing skit ‘Popi and Antzela’, added that he did not feel safe walking the streets “when 800 foreigners are looking at me while I don’t know what they were doing in their countries”.

Golden Dawn members in Greece have been linked with a number of violent acts inflicted mostly on immigrants. Party leader Nicos Michaloliakos and other members are currently in prison pending the conclusion of a trial regarding the murder of leftist rapper Pavlos Fyssas, on September 18.

In a letter to the Cyprus Radio-Television Authority, CyBC director Themis Themistokleous said that the state-run TV station had a legal obligation to cover the whole spectrum of political opinions.

Elita Michaelidou, the talk-show host, said in her response that “you never know what you are going to hear on a live show” and that the opinions expressed to do not reflect her own.

KISA issued a statement expressing satisfaction with the watchdog’s decision but criticizing the CyBC and the show’s hostess for failing to react to what her guest had said, and for not challenging him on it.

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