to kids, I think you oughta hold your morals and buy those kids
some books with the pimp's money.
The Greek government is more moral?
I got it! The Troika is moral.
I'm having difficulty with this.
I guess Greeks are more moral than desperate, since they turned
down the Madame of the Hour, who came to save the local kids
from becoming illiterate, drug-addled, uhm hookers.
She's the boss
Read 'em: guardian
Greeks wary of brothel owners bearing gifts after school donation
Parents protest after needy school in port of Patras is forced to return madam's €3,000 cheque
Helena Smith in Athens
Friday 9 November 2012 19.42 GMT
Soula Alevridou in one of her brothels. Greek authorities said of her donation: 'What is legal is not necessarily moral'. Photograph: John Kolesidis/Reuters
In a country ravaged by recession, Soula Alevridou stands out, in more ways than one. Where other Greek entrepreneurs have fallen on hard times, her business is booming – so much so that she has been forced to open new premises to meet demand.
With success has come largesse, but in a nation where few can afford to give – or are too busy stashing their ill-gotten gains abroad – her generosity has touched a nerve.
Alevridou, owner of two brothels in the central Greek town of Larissa, is at the centre of a furore after local officials insisted that a primary school return her donation to cover the costs of textbooks and a photocopier.
This is not her first brush with notoriety: she recently bailed out her local football team, and players now proudly – if awkwardly – wear bright pink jerseys advertising Soula's House of History and Villa Erotica, the two brothels that have made her rich.
"I am a Greek woman, and I love my country," said the petite 67-year-old, who has a penchant for stacked shoes and small dogs. "If we don't help our scientists and athletes, where will we be?" she said last month after announcing she would sponsor the cash-strapped team.
It seemed only natural, then, that when a primary school in the western port city of Patras became insolvent – with bankrupt local authorities making clear they were in no position to provide books or even a photocopier for the school – the self-styled philanthropist would come to the rescue again.
Moved by an appeal last week from the school's parents' association, Alevridou immediately wrote a cheque for €3,000 to cover the costs of the photocopier and a small library.
At first the school was grateful. "She was the only one who tried to help," the town's deputy mayor, Theohari Massaras told the Guardian.
"Schools, now, are totally under-funded. Local municipalities are in charge of their finances and there's no money, not even to buy aspirin for the kids," he said.
"Parents who have badly affected by all the austerity measures are desperate. Many of them can't afford to buy textbooks for their children."
The gesture would have been a footnote in the economic crisis bedevilling the debt-stricken country had news of it not got out. As soon as local media ran with the story, Alevridou found herself at the centre of a furious row over the propriety of a brothel madam stepping into a gap created by fiscal recklessness and state profligacy.
Although prostitution is legal in Greece – where in 2006 its ability to spur economic activity prompted the government to revise its GDP calculations on the basis of tax earnings from the profession – it is frowned upon. Authorities have been quick to denounce Alevridou for using philanthropy to promote her establishments.
"Donations reveal the depths of sensitivity of our society … and as such schools are allowed to accept them especially when they come through parents' associations. But we must not forget that primary school teaches new members of our society, it dictates their value system and stance towards life," said Giorgos Panayiotopoulos, the provincial director of education in western Greece.
"Exploitation of a school, and by extension its children, by different businesses is unacceptable and should be denounced in the strongest possible way, especially when the principles of the business in question are not in keeping with the principles of education," he said, demanding the donation be returned to the brothel owner. "What is legal is not necessarily moral. We must protect our children."
Alevridou admits that her brothels – run out of pastel coloured bungalows in Larissa – have fared better than most, but vehemently rejects accusations that her latest act of goodwill is aimed at self-promotion. "She is very upset and very disappointed and doesn't want to talk," said an employee speaking on her behalf. "She has told me to tell everyone she was only trying to help. This whole thing has been distorted."
At the Patras primary school, teachers and parents are fuming. With the donation returned to its sender, the school remains without books or a photocopier to get children through the term. "It would have been much cleverer had the school simply taken the donation and not said who it was from," said Massaras. "This way everyone has been left with nothing. It's tragic."