By Dimitris Georgopoulos
A Greek journalist and blogger was shot dead in front of his house in Athens, Greek media citing police reported Friday, raising concerns of press freedom in Greece.
Giorgos Karaivaz, who was known as a police reporter, was killed by seven gunshots in the neighborhood of Alimos, according to the reports. Afterward, two men were seen fleeing on a motorcycle.
Karaivaz has written extensively on police and secret services corruption and he revealed also the fact that the police let Dimitris Lignadis, former artistic director of the National Theater plenty of time and possibilities to destroy incriminating evidence. Lignadis, appointed to his post by Mitsotakis’ government, is accused of rape of children and is now in prison. Opposition parties and trade unions of artists have accused the government of trying to cover up the scandal and asked for the resignation of the Culture Minister Mendoni.
But there are anyway plenty of quite strange scandals nowadays erupting in Greece, making some observers to speak of the beginning of a transformation of the country into a kind of “Colombia”. In one of the latest cases, it was revealed that Menios Fourthiotis, a TV presenter (and agent of models, including of a porno star), was protected by dozens of police officers. According to the former Labour Minister of the Mitsotakis’ government Vroutsis, he had “stormed” several times his ministry with his bodyguards, trying to get illegal payment for COVID and threatening the Minister that he will fire him. A little later, Vroutsis was indeed fired. Karaivaz wrote also about this.
Those are not the only examples. The Greek social media are full of very serious allegations which never appear in the mainstream media, controlled more strictly than at any moment since the colonels dictatorship (1967-74). Even if 10% of what they write is true, then one concludes that the representatives of the most repulsive forms of organized crime are now operating in the center of the “elite”.
Murdering a journalist is a despicable, cowardly act,” European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen wrote on Twitter in reaction to the attack. “Europe stands for freedom. And freedom of press may be the most sacred of all. Journalists must be able to work safely,” she said. Vera Jourova, vice-president for values and transparency at the commission, said she was “deeply shocked.” “#Justice should be served, and the safety of the journalists should be guaranteed,” she wrote on Twitter.
By the way, von der Leyen was enough motivated to make a personal public comment on Karaivaz, but neither the Greek PM Mitsotakis or the Minister of “Protection of the Citizens” Chrysochiodes (a very good and very close friend of the US secret services), have made any personal comment on Karaivas’ assassination. Only the press representative of the government Aristotelia Peloni has made a declaration expressing condolences.
What Van der Leyen has said are very kind and encouraging words but, unfortunately, both Germany and the EU bear a lot of responsibility, even if indirect, regarding what happens in Greece. By crushing all social and democratic forces in the country they have, on the one hand, demoralized Greek society and, on the other, they opened the way to the most reactionary and immoral parts of the Greek oligarchy. The forces they were paying for years through Ziemens and other firms, to keep Greece under control, plunder its economy and market and pauperize its people.
Greece is the future of Europe and crime the future of the EU brand of neoliberal antidemocratic capitalism.