New Democracy’s candidate for Athens mayor, Aris Spiliotopoulos, said on Monday that he is in favor of a mosque being built in Athens but not in Votanikos, near the city center, as current plans dictate.
Earlier in the campaign, ahead of the May 18 local elections, Spiliotopoulos indicated he was against plans for a mosque to be built in Athens. He proposed that a referendum be held to allow Athenians to have the final say on the subject.
However, speaking to Mega TV Spiliotopoulos said that he is only opposed to the idea of the mosque being located in the “historic center” of Athens.
“Yes to the mosque, no to where [Athens Mayor Giorgos] Kaminis wants it to be built,” he said.
Spiliotopoulos has been criticized over the past few weeks for pandering to right-wing voters by using harsh language against migrants and opposing plans for a mosque, which have the government’s proposals.
“I am much more progressive on the issue of civil rights than all those people who issue statements [criticizing me],” said the conservative politician.