£70,000 fine for gay kiss on Greek TV

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The Independent Online

Greek television producers are to pick up the bill for one of the most expensive kisses in history after the national broadcast watchdog imposed a €100,000 (£70,000) fine for showing a gay kiss.

The National Broadcast Council (NBC) attacked the privately-owned Mega channel for showing two men kissing in their primetime serial Close My Eyes, ruling it "unfit for family viewing".

The NBC president, Yiannis Laskarides, condemned the scene as "idiosyncratic and outside of the bounds of normal human relationships".

Paul Sofianos, editor of gay magazine Deon, said Mr Laskarides and his fellow board members were reactionaries. "This guy has his head stuck in the 19th century," he said. "It is unacceptable censorship in a European Union country. This was a scene depicting something that is part of everyday life in homes all around Greece."

The state-appointed radio and television watchdog criticised Mega for including the popular serial in their early-evening slot. Under Greek broadcast rules, adult-themed programmes can be shown only after an 11pm watershed. A recent poll by the European Social Survey found Greece to be among the most conservative societies in the EU.