MEP Mitro Repo accused of inappropriate behaviour toward women – offers apology
Mitro Repo, a Finnish Social Democratic Member of the European Parliament, has offered a “sincere apology” for any distress that he may have inadvertently caused to women working at the Parliament.
According to a report on the A-Studio current affairs television programme broadcast on the Finnish Broadcasting Company (YLE) on Wednesday, many people in the Parliament have felt that Repo has shown an excessive “familiarity toward women”, and has made unwelcome comments on women’s appearance.
Thirteen people interviewed by YLE said that Repo’s behaviour was inappropriate in one way or another.
“It is hard for me to recognise myself in the claims or quotations that were put forward. It is not my intention by any means to hurt or show contempt to anyone. I am sorry and I apologise”, Repo said in an e-mail message sent to the media on Thursday.
In the programme the producers had asked civil servants working at the European Parliament, as well as representatives of interest groups and journalists, to evaluate Finnish MEPs.
In addition to giving them points for their political work, there were also oral assessments of the MEPs as people.
The following comments were made of Mitro Repo:
“He suddenly squeezed my leg in the middle of an interview.”
“It is a public secret that he gropes women as much as he dares.”
On Wednesday evening after the programme aired, Repo told Helsingin Sanomat that he did not recognise himself in the comments.
“I feel that I have only made compliments”, he says.
“Could it be that a priest who lives in celibacy, and moves around in civilian clothing, might be a strange creature for people in the political elite?”
Previously in HS International Edition:
Court rejects appeal by MEP Mitro Repo over suspension as Orthodox Priest (15.12.2009)
Orthodox bishops temporarily revoke Mitro Repo’s office as priest (27.5.2009)