It is not the first time that the newspapers of this media group have been at the centre of an intense political confrontation and dispute.
From the very start of their publication, due their particularities, their popularity and influence on public opinion, and their connections with prominent personalities of politics, business, and the arts and letters, they became an apple of discord.
Some forget and others may not know, yet the Eleftheron Vima (the direct precursor of To Vima) was founded in 1922 by Dimitris Lambrakis, at the urging of statesman Eleftherios Venizelos and with the support of industrialist Prodromos (Athanasiadis) Bodosakis, in order to contribute to the reconstruction of the country and the nation after the then approaching 1922 defeat in the Asia Minor War and the catastrophe of Smyrna.
There was an attempt then to suspend its publication. Its founders were dragged into the courts and they faced many trials and tribulations.
Later, in 1928, when Venizelos again won the election and the historic leap toward liberal democratic modernisation was attempted, Vima, Nea, and Oikonomikos Tachydromos played a protagonistic role, earned distinction, and were treated reprehensibly by a segment of the political firmament, and there were efforts to slander them.
Later, however, when the darkness of WWII and the Civil War passed – with its democratic tradition, the spirit of conciliation, and the pursuit of the reconstruction and the liberation of post-war Greece, which guided its prominent writers – the group was sought after, like nothing else in the Greek press.
That is essentially how the legend that was and is attached to it was fashioned.
For readers and the majority of citizens, it is a vehicle for the dissemination of knowledge and ideas, a window on the world, a platform of progress and the promotion of worthy Greek efforts.
On the contrary, according to the current conspiratorial narrative, this publishing group is “a dark centre that makes and breaks governments and serves interests”.
Based on that account, for the extreme right it is a red flag. For the left, it is akin to the Czar’s Winter Palace. This is how Mr. Tsipras has dealt with our newspapers, as trophies of his power and as a basis for his quest for legitimisation in the broader democratic bloc.
At first, he sought to negotiate and impose a relationship of subjugation, the only kind that suits him, in accordance to Gramsci’s theory of the “newspaper-party”, which he has adopted.
He attempted to do it with the previous publisher, and he tried it again now with Mr. Marinakis. When he realised our new publisher was not inclined to accept a status of control and direction, he declared war.
The PM incorporated the publisher in his political planning, and depicted him as a central political figure, as the leader and guide of the main opposition party, blaming him for all the sins of the world, in order to harm him and cut him down, thus indisputably confirming that his prosecution is political and manufactured.
As much as the prime minister may engages in untrammeled propaganda, our publisher is not a politician. He is a distinguished businessman, with international activity and interests mainly abroad.
All of his activities are based on legality and the strict adherence to principles, rules, and contractual obligations, as dozens of auditing teams constantly sent by Mr. Tsipras’ subordinates have seen.
The publisher’s interest in the media group emanated from his lineage and his love for the country and its history. He was motivated by the necessity of saving the historical newspapers, more than anything else.
That is the reason that the newspapers remained devoted to their principles and ideas and did not shift positions. They present and comment on events as objectively as possible, without prejudice or malevolence, but rather with precision and corroboration of evidence and information.
Scripta manent. It is our words that remain, to prove what we are saying. It is these very words that readers honour. All else is connivance.