A prime minister’s misery

When a newspaper is publishing a story on itself, this is a problem. It was neither our choice, nor did we derive any pleasure out of it.

by Kostas Vaxevanis

Even though it concerns us, it is not an issue of the newspaper per se. If the prime minister of the country was pick-pocketing from people on the street, it would not be a matter of mere criminal conduct, but an issue of deficient morality. Under the same logic, Kyriakos Mitsotakis trying to shut down a newspaper is a matter that concerns the society as a whole.

The prime minister of Greece, the first citizen of Greeks, to whom citizens entrusted their votes and hopes, the politician who insists that he will save the country, has been calling up entrepreneurs asking them to stop advertising their products and services on Documento. Probably due to his personal time running out, he even orders his staff to invite as many businesspersons as possible to Megaron Maximou to deliver the message. The “executive leaders” of the “executive state” have defined as an “executive plan” that entrepreneurship should cut any advertising bonds between itself and Documento.

One would expect that the unworthiness and disdain attributed from time to time to the newspaper by Mitsotakis and his circle would not allow such anxiety for Documento. Yet here we are; they are betraying how much they worry.

Even though Mitsotakis and his circle have expressed their scorn and disregard to the newspaper from time to time, any collected individual would most likely not expect such angst on their behalf. Yet, here we are; they are now openly giving away just how much sleep they lose over Documento.

I have been serving investigative journalism for thirty years. My perception and outlook of my job has left me with a few battle-scars and more than a few foes. I have to admit that, with the exception of the former PM Antonis Samaras and the current PM Kyriakos Mitsotakis, no-one before even came close to humiliating themselves so profoundly as to contact businessmen to force an embargo on Documento and myself, acting just like a mobster of times past.

How much self-esteem and decency must a PM lack to come to the point of craving to financially asphyxiate and ultimately eradicate one’s critics?

Kyriakos Mitsotakis hides behind the narrative that we are going after his wife. However, we are not after her; we are after his politics and outlooks which allow him to act against the public interest through offshores, obscure family patrons, political cynicism, and legalistic gambits of impunity. For bringing this to light, he deems us his adversaries. This is today’s news. Tomorrow, it will be the turn of anyone else who dares go up against the prince: a journalist, an entrepreneur, a politician.

Mitsotakis’ political perspective is one where he owns the State, entrepreneurs are his agents, and journalists are bootlickers who must idealize him as some once did with Nicolae and Elena Ceaușescu. We have nothing against Kyriakos’ wife, and he should stop lying though his teeth about it. We stand against the system of offshores, flimsy asset declarations, corruption and obscurity. And if, for this, he considers us his adversaries, then he most certainly knows something the others do not. All in all, a prime minister should never hit such an all-time low.

Kyriakos Mitsotakis is surrounded by an army of publicists striving and skilled enough to present him as one to fly to the moon without a rocket. Is he so afraid of Documento or does he frankly want to corroborate his frenzy and vindictiveness?

I and all the employees at Documento, who Mitsotakis’ innermost yearnings would crave to leave jobless, are aware that his views do not reflect the ideas of New Democracy voters. Maybe they echo the beliefs of only a small group of people who are drawn to toxicity and, in turn flatter him with malicious rancor and promises for omnipotence. We have been around for a while, we know what is happening, and we can predict how long this will last. It will endure until that day upon which this group of yes-men will name someone else “the best [party] president ever”.

Mitsotakis’s comportment bears testimony not only to political pettiness, but also to faintness. Leaders do not act or behave like that; politicians must not subsist within the reek emitted by their wrath. If they do, they do not last long.

Documento revealed the kind of person the PM’s friend and consultant Nikos Georgiadis was, as well as his crimes in Moldova. We are in a position to know that, for some reason, this has exacted a toll to Kyriakos Mitsotakis. Documento revealed the bonds of the Mitsotakis family to offshore companies, illegally derived proceeds, and defects in asset declarations. Documento publicized the involvement of his nephew and incumbent chief of the prime minister’s bureau in the Energa case, who currently devises and endorses many of the abovementioned actions against us. Documento exposed the role of a “government acting like a limited company” and its daily inconsistencies against its declarations during the election campaign.

Documento will continue to unveil the truth, simply because Kyriakos Mitsotakis cannot prevent us from doing so, even if he decides to spend his days and nights outside corporate headquarters and media shops. Journalism, and especially courage, do not stem from where he thinks. This is why newspapers like ours exist, even if the likes of Kyriakos and his clique emerge from time to time.

I believe that the Prime Minister can figure out what our response. It is written in bold on our September 29 headline. Whichever his actions, we will still persist, revealing whatever needs to be revealed. It may be hard for him to digest that he cannot make us vanish into thin air, but there are plenty in his party to jog his memory on the fate of many kings, rulers and would-be Napoleons.

Greece is not about “Mareva and I”. It is about its citizens, its institutions and its history. The Greek Press is not its oligarch media tycoons and their sidekicks, but the foundation and attestation of democracy. Before sliding further down this slippery slope, Mitsotakis should think twice. It seems that the businessmen he has been calling up are not actually fearful of his insistence, but rather laugh at his demands, and he can double-check that by simply asking his close relatives. Therein he will find individuals far wiser and far more competent than him; and definitely far better democrats.


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