- A translation by the AnonLegionGR team.
- Open letter of Greek Journalist Kostas Vaxevanis to Greek Finance Minister (and formerly Justice Minister) Evangelos Venizelos
- The original Greek text is here: http://www.koutipandoras.gr/?p=10256
- Mr. Venizelos,
- What I am writing is well-known to both you and me. It is suspected, I believe, by the people as well. I would have stopped at our "showdown" on Nikos Chatzinikolaou's TV show, had you not stepped on my toes with your "you are a journalist of the State TV and you are paid by the Greek people" line. I hope you do not mean what everyone understood you meant.
- So, I am a journalist and at this time I happen to work in the Public Television, and not State TV, as you call it. This is of great importance, as it reflects the perception each one has about ERT. It is a journalist's job to scrutinise those in power. The fact that I am "paid by the Greek people" is an additional responsibility for me, as I must be "worthy of my wage". The conclusion is that we are both paid by the Greek people. You are being paid by the Greek people since 1989, I am being paid by the Greek people for the past 2-3 years that I am part of ERT's staff.
- The second thing that sounded as a threat on that show was that you would publicise journalists' origin of wealth. Amen to that! For the time being, do publicise on the internet the origin of wealth of Greek Parliament Members, as dictated by Law 3979/2011 (the Ragousis Law), because at the time I write these lines you are in violation of the Law. I would also suggest to examine the origin of the assets owned by our millionaire MPs and tax it. It is far more ethical and effective than slashing 300-euro pensions. I do not accuse any Greek politician of being a thief. But you do know what they say about Caesar's wife. Although it seems that in the Greek Parliament, Caesar is the MP's wife, who also simply happened to have a significant dowry.
- Now, on to more difficult matters. Mr. Venizelos, you are a very important unit of what we call the political system. The system that is, in no small part, responsible for what the country is. We like to talk in general terms about it, but I have learnt to speak specifically. In the Ministries you have served, I keep encountering your laws (yes, I know, they are the Parliament's laws, but you know very well what I am talking about) during my investigations, finding they act as a "protection shield" for the political system and its vital space. The "Ministers' Responsibility" law, i.e. the law that grants complete unaccountability, immunity and impunity to Greek Ministers, is a creation of yours. This abomination that leads to a complete lack of punishment, that measures the duration of the Statute of Limitations by (hear, hear) terms an MP has served in the Parliament; this abomination that is a provocation against society. This is the law that Mr. Constantinos Karamanlis used to "erase" the crimes of his Ministers in the Vatopedi scandal - and beyond.
- Yours is also the law that governs how TV stations work. In this country, one cannot even open a cigarette-selling kiosk without a permit. But TV stations can. These power centers work on temporary permits. Thus, media owers and governments can blackmail each other and "self-regulate" themselves.
- Yours is also the law that "regulated" the debts of the Football (n.b. for our American readers: read "soccer" here) Clubs, i.e. a number of S.A.'s, under the "public demand" of football fans. These corporations were thrown deeply in the red by their owners (they even issued fake invoices) and you erased their debts. The money their owners stole. You took my money and gave it to the scoundrels and the ones that have been (and keep) setting football (soccer) games up.
- Let us now leave your previous legislative work aside and move on to the second. That is, the Proton Bank scandal. I note, preliminarily, that all evidence shows that this is all a personal machination on your behalf and not a government decision. This has nothing to do with a personal "aggressive planning" on my behalf but with reality. In the Cabinet, you were fiercely attacked for the Proton Bank case, but you proceeded anyway.
- The newspaper "Eleftherotypia" revealed that, in July 2011, you decided to give 100 million euros from the State's undisposed funds to the Proton Bank of Mr. Lavrentiadis. At that time, Mr. Lavrentiadis and his bank were under investigation for embezzlement. Furthermore, the 2362/1995 Law (a law created specifically to prevent new Koskotas-like embezzlement scandals) did not permit you to fund the bank. The State General Accounting Office's staff had told you this is illegal. You did it anyway. During our on air confrontation, you said the decision of the staff of the State General Accounting Office "was illegal because it was published in a newspaper". Now this is something new. The legality of an action is determined by whether it complies to the Law and not by the newspapers' circulation. The one that broke the Law was you, according to the 1995 law.
- You knew it well. This is why you proceeded to create another legislation. In an unrelated law, the 4002/2011, you added an article that gives you pre-emptive immunity and impunity. You legislated that, when it comes to issues of banks' systemic stability, you have the right to decide on banks' funding. This "systemic stability" thing is a new invention. As if that was not enough, the law immunises Finance Ministers (including you, of course), since 1997. Why 1997? Did we have "systemic instability" back then or is a certain Minister of the Simitis government facing an instability problem?
- After you gave the bank the 100 Million euros, you now put the State deeper in debt by making it pay 800 Million euros extra for the nationalisation of the bank. Of course, the fall of Proton Bank has nothing to do with the recession and the crisis. It is a result of its mismanagement by its bosses. They funded themselves. Instead of recruiting the Bank of Greece (another sinful story: a private bank presenting itself as an institutional instrument of the Greek State) to investigate the matter, you funded them and saddled us with this extra burden.
- And you did not stop at that. Mr. Lavrentiadis, who allegedly embezzled 51 Million euros, will not go to jail. There will not be so much as a prosecution. The reason is another law you have passed. Your signature is on this law, too. With the 3904/2010 law, you legislate immunity and impunity for those who embezzle funds but return them before being prosecuted. So, Mr. Lavrentiadis, by returning the 51 Million euros (after investing this money, profiting from it or whatever else), has immunity. This is another legal "revolution" under the pretext of relieving prisons from overcrowding. As a former Justice Minister, you know that various laws "against the overcrowding of prisons" hid the release of a few famous convicts. In the past, in the name of "relieving prisons from overcrowding", Makis Psomiadis and various lawyer-fraudsters from Thessaloniki were released...
- I can tell you a lot more. A lot, and it is my job to tell you. How are these things called in Court when a lawsuit against a journalist (another law of yours) is judged? "Facts and evaluational judgments". That is precisely what I am doing. One more reason is that I am being "paid by the Greek people", as someone who works in the Public TV that governments view as their personal property. I would urge you to respect it. And waste a little of your alleged intelligence and eloquence on giving me a reply. Because this is your obligation. Unless you prefer to fire me.
Expose of E. Venizelos by Kostas Vaxevanis
a guest Oct 20th, 2011 2,581 Never
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