Two lawsuits were filed against Greek Education Minister Nikos Filis on Monday by the Supreme Court Prosecutor’s office. These were filed in connection with controversial comments he made negating the occurence of the 1914-23 genocide of Black Sea Pontic Greeks. It is now up to lawmakers to review the law suits and determine whether the minister should be prosecuted under a 2014 law cracking down on xenophobia and racism.
The legal action was taken by conservative main opposition New Democracy cadre and lawyer Failos Kranidiotis and a high-ranking navy officer Panayiotis Stamatis. They both object to comments made by Filis on a TV show concerning the slaughter of tens of thousands of Black Sea Greeks by Turks. The minister had said that the slaughter was not genocide but a case of ethnic cleansing. At the time, several protest rallies reacted against these statements bearing in mind that Greece officially recognized the genocide in 1994.