Greek court sends teenager to jail for organizing small New Year’s Eve party
THESSALONIKI, Greece, January 8, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) — A Greek court has sentenced a teenager to six months in jail after he was found guilty of organizing a New Year’s Day party amid restrictions related to the COVID-19 crisis.
According to a report by Greek newspaper Proto Thema, the 19-year-old had organized the party in the city of Thessaloniki in direct violation of the nation’s COVID-19 lockdown laws.
The young man received an added three-year suspended sentence from the Autophorous Three-Member Misdemeanor Court of Thessaloniki, and was also fined €3,000, while those in attendance at the party received a fine of €300.
The teen was found guilty of holding the party after he invited nine of his friends over to an apartment that reportedly belongs to his grandmother.
According to Proto Thema, police were called to the apartment in the early hours of January 2.
The teenager said during his court appearance that he was not looking to have so many people over at the apartment and that he had not seen his friends in a long time.
He also added that he “thought it would be safer for them to stay after 10pm when travel restrictions apply,” according to the report.
For 2021, the government of Greece announced stricter COVID measures that took effect on January 3 due to an apparent rise in cases. Many stores are now closed, and the government has also shut churches.
The closing of churches was announced mere days before the celebration of the Epiphany in Greece, which is predominantly orthodox, on January 6th.
As a result, there was an immediate backlash from the Greek Orthodox church’s Holy Synod, who said it would not be following through with the restrictions.
True to their word, Greek Orthodox churches went ahead with Epiphany services yesterday, in open defiance of the government’s coronavirus restrictions.
Limits were placed on the number of people who were allowed into churches, and churchgoers were encouraged to follow health measures.
According to local reports, police mostly sat back and did not interfere in allowing worshippers to go inside churches. Nevertheless, they were actively asking people to not proceed inside.
Despite many European nations imposing never-ending COVID-19 lockdowns, not all nations have decided to lock down.
The country of Belarus, for instance, has seen low rates of the virus, according to official numbers, despite never imposing a hard lockdown.