“If there is one thing I have learned in my life so far it’s that as a journalist I tend to reply to defamatory statements against me through my articles. However, concerning the totally irrational and unmanly attack against me through the text composed by Mr. Damian Mac Con Uladh for Politico.eu, I decided to seek an answer through justice with the help of my lawyer Themis Sophos.”
These are the actual words with which the Greek former businessman and lifestyle magazine publisher Petros Kostopoulos chose to announce that he is pressing charges against the journalist Damian Mac Con Uladh and Politico.eu, the sister site of well-known American political news site Politico, for an article entitled ‘The Dirty Dozen: 12 people who ruined Greece‘.
Among others, the article lists the former head of Greece’s military coup d’état in 1967 Georgios Papadopoulos, former Prime Minister Georgios Papandreou, as well as the recently convicted minister Akis Tsochatzopoulos who will now serve more than 20 years in prison as the main personalities who ruined Greece.
“I’m really fed up being the scapegoat of every single angered, ignorant scamp… but finding my name on a list along with dictators and impostures crosses the line…”, Kostopoulos wrote on a statement published on webportal Toratora.gr, in reference to the accusations that he is one of the main contributors to Greece’s current deadlock.
While such a lawsuit would probably be dismissed in the US under free speech and especially because Kostopoulos is a public figure, Europe and Greece hold stricter defamation laws. However, the article itself does not accuse Kostopoulos of anything in specific, rather reflects a negative image about Kostopoulos that many Greek media have reported before.
The last twenty years, Kostopoulos had created a glossy media empire that went bankrupt after the economic crisis hit Greece.