Good News and Bad
The bad way overwhelms the good.
by Stephen Lendman
A personal note: As a writer and radio host, I'm often asked why I don't discuss good news. My answer is when I find some I will. Today I did, and here it is.
Two previous articles discussed suppressing free expression in Greece. Targeting dissent and media freedom continues.
Journalists revealing information government authorities want suppressed are suspended, fired, and/or arrested and prosecuted.
Costas Vaxevanis and Spiros Karatzaferis were targeted. Karatzaferis remains in custody on libel charges. He claimed to have information on how Greece manipulated its deficit to seek bailout help at the expense of ordinary people.
He said he'd present it on air October 31. He was arrested to prevent him from doing it. He added that he wasn't apprehended for having the information. Authorities used an old warrant against him.
It related to accusations he made against judges. He accused them of trying to form a para-state outside government. "I am being condemned for libel," he said. He added that he'll go to jail before paying a fine if assessed one. He may end up there.
Vaxevanis was arrested for publishing the "Lagarde List." It contained names of 2,059 wealthy Greeks with secret HSBC Swiss accounts.
Secreting wealth offshore in tax havens makes them suspect. Vaxevanis and former Greek finance minister George Papaconstantinou wanted them investigated for possible criminality.
Current Greek finance minister Evangelos Venizelos did nothing. Papaconstantinou said authorities didn't act because they're covering for elite tax cheats. Greece is notorious for high-level ones. Its longstanding system is "broken and corrupt," he added.
Vaxevanis was arrested, brought to Athens magistrate court for a hearing, released pending trial, then rushed through one on November 1.
Initially it was scheduled for later. Perhaps a national uproar got it moved up to dispense with it quickly. A packed court watched it.
All's far from well in Greece, but ended that way for Vaxevanis. Lawyers representing him convinced judges that accusations against him were politically motivated.
On November 1, the London Guardian headlined "Greek editor Kostas Vaxevanis acquitted over Swiss bank list."