Wednesday, October 31, 2012

News From The Real World: You Think Our Press Has Police Problems, Look At Greece

On the evening of October 27, the Greek journalist Kostas Vaxevanis was awakened by police who arrested him and hauled him off to jail. The charge? Hot Doc, the magazine he writes for and edits, published portions of the "Lagarde List” containing the names of 2,059 Greeks who allegedly spirited money out of the country and into the warm embrace of UK-based HSBC’s Swiss offices.

Vaxevanis was charged with the publication of private data, although only names, and not account numbers or amounts, were listed. Vaxevanis did not allege that anyone on the list was guilty of a crime, merely that an investigation into the matter was in order. The List has been the talk of Greece, although not its newspapers, for months.

Interestingly, a website run by Makis Triantafillopoulos (, published the same list just hours before Hot Doc. No arrests have been made in that case. Triantafillopoulos is widely regarded as having close ties to Greece’s ruling class.

Private data, indeed... private only from the eyes of those asking unpleasant questions. It is a mystery to me why anyone should expect international transfers of large amounts of money to be a private matter. But what do I know of large amounts of money!

Sunshine is the only disinfectant, and the wealthy bastards know it. From journalists incarcerated by NYPD for covering Occupy events to Vaxevanis's publication of material he felt required investigation, today's journalists face a breadth of repression not seen in my lifetime since the 1960s. It's a tough time to be a truth-teller.


  1. Titles exclusively in English.
    (not in Italian, French, Spanish, German)

    Greece: Democracy Comes Home to Die (Margaronis)

    The Controversial ‘Lagarde List’ Has Leaked, And It’s Bad News For The Greek Prime Minister

    Arrest Warrant Issued for Greek Journalist

    Arrest Warrant Issued Against Greek Journalist for Publishing “Lagarde List”

    Greek editor’s arrest sought over list with Swiss accounts

    Greek Journalist Held Over List of Swiss-Account Holders

    Greek Editor Arrested After Publishing List of Swiss Bank Accounts (8:00 pm)

    Greek Journalist Held After Publishing List of Swiss-Account Holders

    Greece: Journalist Kostas Vaxevanis arrested, over the notorious Lagarde list release

    Greece arrests editor for ‘Lagarde list’ leak

    Greece arrests journalist over ‘Lagarde List’ banks leak

    Greek magazine editor in court for naming alleged tax evaders

    Greek editor arrested over list of Swiss accounts

    Yanis Varoufakis for ‘Lagarde list’ and Greek economy

    Greek police arrest journalist over ‘Lagarde list’ leak
    στο RussiaToday

    The Controversial ‘Lagarde List’ Was Leaked In Greece, And You Won’t Believe Who Got Arrested

    Greece Moves Quickly to Put Editor on Trial

    Greek journalists warn over press freedom

    Greek publisher charged over ‘tax evader’ list

    Greek journalists warn over press freedom

    Greece gave birth to democracy. Now it has been cast out by a powerful elite

    You don't need to read everything: titles speak by themselves.
    Just to have an idea

  2. On Golden Dawn (exclusively in English)

    Alarm at Greek police 'collusion' with far-right Golden Dawn

    Greek anti-fascist protesters 'tortured by police' after Golden Dawn clash

    Greek police accused of using protester as human shield

    Golden Dawn has infiltrated Greek police, claims officer

    Fear and loathing in Athens: the rise of Golden Dawn and the far right

    Love or nothing: The real Greek parallel with Weimar

    Greek police accused over racism and asylum rights

    It won’t just be Greek journalists who suffer from free speech crackdown

  3. September 2012: Euro area unemployment rate

  4. Greek Americans voting for rMoney: true or false?

  5. Korea to protest to Greece over assaulted tourist in Athens

    Korea said Thursday it will lodge a protest with Greece after a Korean tourist was allegedly assaulted by Greek police officers while touring Athens last week.
    The Korean tourist, only identified by the surname Jeon, was allegedly beaten by several plain-clothes police officers on Oct. 16 after they demanded the tourist show identification. No reason was given for the alleged assault happened.
    Foreign ministry spokesman Cho Tai-young said the South Korean embassy in Athens was aware of the alleged assault and the Korean ambassador to Greece will meet with Greece's senior police officials to lodge a protest on Friday (local time).
    "We also sent a diplomatic document to the Greek authorities to thoroughly investigate the case and punish those who responsible for it," Cho told reporters. (Yonhap)

  6. Another Greek Myth: Freedom of the Press

    By George D. Pap­pas, Exec­ut­ive Dir­ector & Attor­ney at the Inter­na­tional Cen­ter for Legal Stud­ies in Ashev­ille, North Carolina.

    1. Thanks, Enfant. I'll read some of them... tomorrow. Even at 10:00PM I feel as if someone has taken a sap and beaten me; the bruises aren't there, but after the blood spilling from my boot at the doctor's office, I have a very real sense tonight of having been beaten up. I suppose I might as well get used to it, if I'm going to keep saying acerbic things in print.

      What is happening in Greece is happening in the US. The nature and the specific consequences may differ, but the underlying motives for state violence against the press and against dissenters never really change: they want to shut us down.

      Part of me says my problems will be alleviated in part if President Obama wins the election, and greatly exacerbated if Mr. Rmoney wins. But a bigger part of me knows that the problems are woven into the fabric of any attempt at democracy, including yours and including mine. Our forbears did pretty well under their circumstances; nothing lasts forever, and now it's time for us to do as well as we can under our circumstances. Mostly I regret being old and infirm when we face this... there was a time when I relished the battle, but with boot and cane or walker, I don't have quite the same enthusiasm for it.

      Off to bed for me...

  7. Vaxevanis, the editor of HOT DOC acquitted !!

  8. Greek Editor Not Guilty in Publishing Names With Swiss Accounts (NYT)



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