The news did rounds in Greek media all over the world. The Hellenic Parliament announced that it would be lit up in rainbow colours, in celebration of the 2018 Athens Pride March. As soon as the announcement was made, backlash ensued, as conservative commentators from all parts of the political spectrum objected to the Speaker of the House, Nikos Voutsis granting permission for the colours of the LGBTIQ flag to be projected on the historic building.
In fact, reality proved to be different than what both sides of the debate had envisioned. When the day to hold the event arrived, only a small part of the building was lit up with the rainbow flag, in a symbolic gesture, much to the disappointment of LGBTIQ activists who were hoping for a more assertive embrace by the country’s legislative body.
What caused further confusion was the fact that the initial announcement came with a photo of how the buiding would look, soaked in rainbow colours. As it turned out, this was a photoshopped ‘artist impression’ of the projection, that bore no relation with the actual one. This did not prevent its diffusion through various media outlets – and most notably Government ones, like the national broadcaster ERT – making it a perfect example of ‘fake news’.
Other than that, the 14th Athens Pride march was a great success, with thousands of people gathering at Syntagma square to participate in what turned out to be half-festival and half-civil rights demonstration.