The government has decided to stiffen the charge for non-consensual intercourse, making it a felony after an outcry from civil society groups and the threat of a number of SYRIZA MPs to vote to down the new criminal code if it remained a misdemeanor.

This will be the first overhaul of the criminal code in nearly 70 years.

The original version of the provision as tabled by the government (after lengthy inter-party consultations and consensus) stipulated that only rape with a threat to life or of physical harm was a felony.

With the amendment of the relevant Criminal Code article any form of non-consensual sex is considered felony rape.

The punishment will be a mandatory ten-year prison sentence.

Although Justice Minister Michalis Kalogirou initially defended the original version, he backed down after at least five SYRIZA MPs said that they would vote down the provision as tabled.

They were Anneta Kavadia, Maria Theleriti, Yorgos Dimaras, Yannis Michelogiannakis, and Yannis Tsironis.

The original version made non-consensual sex a heavy misdemeanor that carried a mandatory prison sentence of 3-5 years.

The uproar led to an emergency meeting of the competent parliamentary legal committee which made the necessary changes.







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