Living in Greece

A practical guide to moving, living, working & traveling in Greece, plus musing and misadventures from an American in Athens

Greece says goodbye to Eleftheros Typos

eleftherostyposGreek daily Eleftheros Typos shut down just before noon today and said a heartfelt thank you to its readers after 26 years.

Stakeholders voted unanimously in a June 19 meeting to cease operations of Eleftheros Typos and due to continued losses and poor industry outlook, ending an attempt to modernize public debate and revive the newspaper’s former glory achieved by founders Aris and Lilian Boudouris. For shipping magnate Theodoris Angelopoulos and former Athens 2004 President Gianna Angelopoulou-Daskalaki, it also marked the power couple’s exit from the media business.

Various Greek news sources reported that between 300-450 journalists and administrative support staff lost their jobs.

Though it had been losing readership to left-leaning competitors, the once popular newspaper of the eighties retained its influence and had a historically significant name that Angelopoulos felt was worth saving in 2006 and could be used as a vehicle to diversify news. Eleftheros Typos means Free Press in English. However, the next year, a much-needed makeover more than doubled debts to €34 million.

The Journalists Union of Athens Daily Newspapers called a 24-hour strike of print, digital and broadcast media starting today at 17:00 local Greek time to protest the closure of ET and highlight issues of transparency, redundancy and unpaid workers in the media industry.

My connection

Less than five months after starting, which was then called An American in Athens, Marios Rozakos was kind enough to include this website/blog in an article called “Kαθρέφτης της πόλης το Διαδίκτυο – Η Αθήνα με τα μάτια Ελλήνων και ξένων bloggers” or “Reflections of a city on the Internet — Athens through the eyes of Greek and foreign bloggers.” See, “American in Athens in Eleftheros Typos

It was the first time the Greek media took notice of this website and did not plagiarize me, and I am humbled and grateful there have been others since. But you never forget your first.

The sudden death of Free Press is somehow symbolic of the times we live in, and I can’t help but wonder if its demise is an indication of what’s ahead in Greece’s uncertain future.

Related posts

Greek media, now with less racism
The government must stop media favoritism” — Kathimerini
Eleftheros Typos wins Best Designed European Newspaper Award” — Editors Weblog

Follow former employees of Eleftheros Typos

Eleftheros Typos Blog —
Eleftheros Typos Ex-Employees Twitter feed —


Eleftheros Typos Online — (now offline)
Κλείνει ο Ελεύθερος Τύπος” — Ta Nea
Κλείνουν Ελεύθερος Τύπος και City 99,5” — Eleftherotypia
“Ιστορικό του «Ελεύθερου Τύπου»” (removed) — Kathimerini
Εικοσιτετράωρη απεργία στα ΜΜΕ για το «λουκέτο» σε Ελεύθερο Τύπο και City” — Eleftherotypia


  Margarita from London wrote @ June 24th, 2009 at 03:24

Uncertain future:

I think these two words definitely apply to Greece. You got it right. No other words better describe the situation today, and I see it and hear it every day and everywhere I go when I’m over there. People without hope in their eyes, with their mouths full of stiff words and in their hearts only bitterness. This is the Greece of the 21st century.

At least back in the 60s, 70s and 80s people were perhaps poor but they had their dignity and their pride. They used to look into your eyes, not into your wallet! Now they’re only trying to get something from you; they envy their neighbor and, instead of becoming better themselves, they try to stop whoever is better than them. You see, that’s me too, I’m from those people that believes “Every last year and better.”

I saw my dreams & my plans one by one turn to ashes, just like the forests they burn every year.
I spent years studying — not because my parents pressured me, but because I really wanted to — and then spent 12 hours a day in a video shop or a “periptero” renting DVDs and selling newspapers like Eleutheros Typos, even though I had a degree and was supposed to be delivering babies because (of course) I didn’t have an uncle or a boyfriend to get me a job.

Now it’s getting really sad. I remember the day I heard that E.T. won the European prize for best designed newspaper in Europe. I felt so proud and was telling my friends: “See, we can still can do amazing things.” And now? Once again, this is Greece. Like the ancient myth of Kronos who was eating his children because he was afraid that they were going to take his power, modern Greece stays loyal to the ancient beliefs and continues the tradition.

Instead of “them” supporting everything that is new and fresh and has potential to develop into something that can change the world in the long term, they stay true only to whatever can bring then profit and gain right now. Never thinking of their children or that they’re destroying their future. An uncertain future, indeed.

Congratulations on your site/blog, which I just found today. Keep up the good work!

Kat Reply:

Hi Margarita, I was very moved by your words, not only because they were profound and insightful, but also because (in the words of my Greek partner) they came from a Greek with her eyes wide open. My friends discussed this very thing when I told them Eleftheros Typos shut down, that is, what this country could be if it stopped clinging to what is familiar and corrupt and embraced change for the good. Change doesn’t mean it must let go of culture or artisan ways, though ironically these things are being lost more rapidly than any progress forward. Of course, those who are connected, have money and do not work here out of choice will disagree with what we say because this country benefits the few, not the many.

Btw, it is my opinion that ET had the best designed website as well. What a waste.

Thank you for stopping by and taking the time to share your thoughts today. Hope to see you again :)

Vaios — Why direct your anger at me and tell me to leave Greece, when it was your fellow citizens who expressed an opinion? If you dislike everything I write or don’t write, I recommend that you not visit this site any longer, spend your time reading any number of articles on the Acropolis Museum and enjoy life away from the computer. Have a nice summer and good luck to you.

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