Those in power, including the prime minister, have of late taken to charging newspapers and other publications of manufacturing fake news, slandering organised publishing efforts, mocking and insulting professional journalists who are dedicated to the task of informing the public, and in the end undermining in every way constitutionally guaranteed rights, such as the basic freedom of expression.
All this is happening to serve the purpose of their propaganda, the lies which scream from a mile away, are blatant, and are revealed daily by intractable realities.
Because we have seen that this effort to slander newspapers and other media are systematic, organised, and serve ulterior motives, we owe them a response.
Newspapers have an advantage. What is written remains, and it is proof of a truth that no one can deny.
Hence, we must call to mind that it was from this newspaper that the prime minister first learned of the then looming financial crisis, which would drag Greece into a deeper economic and existential crisis.
Until then, the prime minister and his staff did not have a clue, and they thought that, ‘’Capitalism is very strong, and is not endangered by such crises.’’
From this and other ‘systemic’ newspapers, everyone learned of the threat of bankruptcy, about the alternative of internal devaluation, and about all that transpired on the sidelines and publicly in negotiations with our creditors and partners.
It took nearly three years, with cataclysmic events, all described by us in detail, clashing even with our readership, for those who are in power today to understand the shift in economic, social, and political conditions.
Even later, in the double elections of 2012, our columns warned everyone about what was coming, about the disastrous days that would follow, if voters adopted the Grexit position. One recalls the prime minister declaring at the time that, ‘’The euro is not a taboo subject.’’
Later, on the eve of the 2015 elections, this newspaper strongly warned of the financial exclusion of Greece that the European Central Bank would adopt if we were to refuse the adjustment programme.
In the Varoufakis era that followed, we revealed the plans for bringing back the drachma, and the delusion of prospective funding from Russia, China, and elsewhere.
This newspaper adopted a clear stance on the referendum on whether to accept the bailout package and described the impact of capital controls, and on the other side we had the prime minister admitting his prior mistake after the great compromise that was destined to be called kolotoumpa, the equivalent of an about face.
It was also this newspaper that constantly defended fiscal adjustment as the sole solution, and urged the government and opposition parties to implement the agreement rapidly.
We were the first to assert the need for the rapid completion of the second bailout evaluation, arguing even in favour of unpopular measures, because we simply knew there was no other path that would lead to saving the country’s economy.
When that evaluation closed with trials and tribulations, we were the first to recognize the importance of that, and we did not hesitate to highlight the fact that the conditions that could make the economy more autonomous were emerging.
More recently, it was To Vima which first wrote about the prospect of disbursing over one billion euros in social welfare handouts.
We also revealed that the third evaluation would not close without taking measures to protect notaries, so as to ensure the unhindered holding of auctions of seized properties.
Everyone knows that it was only after the Citizens’ Protection, or public order, minister took action that a deal with our creditors and partners was finalised.
It was here, also, that the dark angles were revealed regarding the agreement with Saudi Arabia, which remains pending, even as the government seeks ways to disentangle itself.
This newspaper hasa history, and it upholds the journalistic standards it has followed for nearly a century of publication.
It has been distinguished by the accuracy of its information, its pluralism in publishing opposing views and opinions, its openness to new ideas and concepts, its modernity, and its identification with the national interest, regardless of ideological stance.
These principles are what our readership has recognised and honoured over time. It is for this reason also that, despite the crises that the newspaper has confronted at times, it finds ways to ensure its rebirth and restructuring, as is the case right now.
Let those who rabidly pursue a primacy in public discourse not fool themselves. We shall not abandon these diachronic values, because it is only because of these that we continue to exist.
We honour these values, and we shall do so at any cost.