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The mirror of the Greek social bankruptcy and Mr. Marinakis
by Thanos Kalamidas
2011-03-11 09:12:14
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To fully understand how deep the crisis in Greece is, beyond its financial aspect, you just need to check what’s going on the Greek football leagues the last few weeks. Corruption, blackmails and bullying in every single level. Victims the people, the people who think that they watch just a game; victimizers the few with the multifarious agendas – mainly money – corrupting and corrupted, rippers on a raped society. Protagonist a questionable millionaire in his forties, president of Olympiakos football team and pick of the iceberg Mr. Vangelis Marinakis.

Sports is not the thing I usually focus in my articles but this week I will make an exception since for the second time the last thirty years the role of a questionable president of the very same Greek football team becomes the centre of a controversy that goes beyond football, economics, politics and social issues and as I mentioned in the beginning mirrors the reality of the Greek bankruptcy.

It all started long time ago – just like the Greek debt – but it came out just a few weeks ago with a football game between Olympiakos and Panathinaikos football clubs; a game where the Piraeus team, Olympiakos beat the Athenian team Panathinaikos with a lot of help from the referee; and before the game officially finishes the home team’s fans entered the field literally beating the players of Panathinaikos. A remarkable notice is that the stadium was hosting only fans of the home team due to police worries for troubles if both teams’ fans were in the same place. Following the legislations that rule the game, the internationally accepted ethic - especially in Europe that has suffered in the past from hooliganism - you would expect at least the directors and the president of Olympiakos to take a stand and at least announce loudly their opposition to the hooliganisms. You hoped in vein, the directors and the president of the team participated in the hooliganisms bulling and provoking the players of Panathinaikos aggressively in the limits of barbarism.

And the bulling and hooliganism continued from the president himself in front the cameras blaming Panathinaikos players for their beating – a Turkish professor a few months ago announced proudly that women are responsible when they are raped because they are …women and by definition asking for a rape – and continued provoking calling Panathinaikos’ players names and asking for the Greek youth to join Olympiakos fan club if they want to be with the winners. The same time all Greece had seen live on screen how Panathinaikos lost and how the “winners” and their fans behaved making even known followers of the team feel disgust. The next day some tried to leak especially to the media that he was …drunk! If he was really drunk then he is stupid.

But the next day ad the day after when he wasn’t drunk he continued with a second round of statements provoking even more not only the other football teams but the public feeling for dignity and since this time he was not drunk then except stupid he is also a very dangerous man. You see when the president of the team behaves like a hooligan what can you expect from the twenty years-old unemployed fan of the team? Another tragic coincidence, this minute the Greek people are in a tragic financial situation with unemployment reaching 20% and the biggest part of the Greek society fighting in the limits of poverty. You don’t need to go far, just read the very rich bibliography about hooliganism in UK during the economic recession of 1980s and the reasons that caused the phenomenon. and remember I haven’t mentioned his speculated threats, bulling and manipulations over the referees. So when a president of a team participates, adapts and provokes the phenomenon of hooliganism then he commits a crime that the state is responsible to prevent and stop.

But the state is the other element where Mr. Marinakis has expand his tentacles where through his football team he has managed to team with the most controversial company that includes the vice president of the socialist and governing party and the leader of the opposition conservative party plus a series of present and former ministers with dual agenda. Dual agenda because from one side they gain with the popularity the football club gives them among voters and from the other is never harming allying with a millionaire who can fund campaigns. Apart from that Mr. Marinakis making sure that he has covered every side has expand to the media with magazines, newspapers and radio stations. And of course because the two main parties are not enough Mr. Marinakis has his link in smaller parties and media including the new Ms Bakogianni’s Party and entering in more media or companies of public interest. All that spending millions in an era where real unemployment in Greece reaches 20%, the biggest part of the population lives in the limits of poverty and a salary of dignity counts for less than 600 Euros a month something unbelievable for an EU state.

So who is this young man – in his mid forties – who has so much money that enables him to buy the consciousness of so many people, bully so many others and corrupt the necessary few especially in times when Greece literally suffers financially? According to the limited information, family money mainly in shipping companies and bank investments but far, too far from been the Greek Onassis or Vardinogiannis. Far from been in any list of rich people so how can he spend all these millions? Football in Greece just like anywhere in this world is not a safe investment – there are very few football teams international including Manchester United, Real Madrid or Bayern Munich without huge debts – and sponsoring a football team doesn’t give any tax cuts , is not philanthropy. So it is not for profit. Then what?

Olympiakos sites often mention that the team’s fans number millions and the very same president a few days ago said in the institution that controls Greek football when they vetoed some of his acts he can “bring millions in the streets and show everybody.” So he’s using the team and her fans as a bar to move …what? He is using the team to blackmail? Then except stupid, a dangerous man he is also a criminal of the common criminal law.

But who’s going to stand to him? The politicians who need him or fear him? The system that is made from people like him and profits from him? The justice that depends from politicians and a system corrupted from people like him? Or the people? The people who saw bullies like him steal their income in one night, who were forced to cover the corruption that starts and ends with people like him and they were pushed into the arms of the IMF?

The European football association can do very little, is not their job. Is like seriously expecting the Europeans to solve the Libyans problems. The only ones that can stand and they are oblige to stand are the legal elements of the Greek state and perhaps this is their chance to prove that something changes in this country otherwise they just fulfil and excuse all the prejudice that has lately fallen over the historic state.

Oddly the corruption of the Greek society started showing thirty years ago with another president of Olympiakos, Koskotas. A man who nearly bought the whole Greece also using Olympiakos as a blackmail bar with stolen money bribing ministers, Prime Minsters, opposition, justice and the whole economic system including media. Koskotas was there when the fall of the Greek economy started and it seems that Marinakis is going to be there in the fall of the Greek society playing similar role.

The last few hours I’ve read that Mr. Marinakis through his lawyer send extrajudicial papers to sites and blogs bulling them and trying to scare them into stop publishing things about him. One of those blogs happens to be Μypanathinaikos blog, a blog that to my opinion reports objectively news about Panathinaikos and expresses opinion trying to keep the ethic distances and dignity from everything extreme. The very same blog has honoured me hosting occasionally my opinions. Mr. Marinakis decided to act just two days before the World Day Against Cyber Censorship, a day supported from the Reporters without borders and the Amnesty Ιnternational which shows that except stupid, a dangerous man, a criminal of the common criminal law he is also a fascist.

These extrajudicial papers are just bulling that comes to the next question. Mr. Marinakis – even through those extrajudicial papers – is showing fear for his reputation especially as it is mentioned from his friendly leaks his reputation to his business partners. And in his case he should worry, you see is not anymore what I think about him or my opinion; it is himself and his public statements that shape his image and he’s responsible for the destruction of his image. So the question goes to his partners. This is your partner; do you really want to do business with him? A bully, corrupter, blackmailer and hooligan? And if yes then what has he promised and sold to you? What services in Greece? And perhaps it is time for you to be investigated!

Now expand the image of this man to the whole system that governs and rules Greece the last forty years and you will understand why the country bankrupt economically, politically and socially and lets hope as I said before that some will decide to stand and prove that there is hope for the country that found democracy and put the foundations of modern states and the European Union.


The last hours I got a mail from a Greek friend through the blog Mypanathinaikos that shows the disgust the people feel about the whole situation in football and how much it actually emphasizes to other aspects of the Greek life. So her it is:

Save the football!

I'm not interested at the moment (until the case reaches trial, if it does); who speaks in this first tape that came out last night.

Maybe be John Melissanidis. Theodoros Pangalos. Elias Psinakis. Paul Chaikalis.  Whatever, now I’m interested in words. I am interested in the fact that there is a guy saying that if a referee does not do what he wants (52-48 and 'seeds' on Aris, I do not do crime, I want to help) Russians, Bulgarians, Romanians will come and he could not control them! Hinting mafia hits.

What is important is the implicit threat. The status of terrorism. The "play the way I want,” anyway... It is a regime that for half a year scattered fear to the referees. Shops burnt, damaged bikes, personal attacks, phone calls, all kinds of dirt.

Threat and indirect constitute extortion crimes. What I understand is that those who wanted to influence the referees and to determine the outcome which could result in a fight did not stop the money ("I say to them. I said we will arrange this if all goes well," heard on the tape ). No! To be "tied" with the game, there must be a threat. That is the magic combination.

And these shows how ruthless are the ones contemplating this type of set-ups. That reached the point of telling someone else to threat the referee is only one element. Another item that should not go unnoticed is the verb. "Do not report." For whom not to explain, my lord? Who are you to put the "work" and not worry about exposure to him?

All are subject to investigation by the authorities. Perhaps this is the last opportunity for Greek football to clean (a big part at least reminding that this is impossible because of our culture and the world of football) from parasites. The last chance for this government, a government incapable to act and regulate traffic on the highway while snow falls for hours - and do something good in a field that is in despair and forgotten.

Have you got eggs, balls, mind, will and ability? Prove it.

There are no alternative friends now, involving UEFA; to protect what is called football. And there are no toys, EPO, Pilavios ... There are laws. Let for the first time those laws work in this state. If THEY want to talk about football in the coming years, rather than dealing with shanties, referees rigged games and all that that have made us forget that football is mainly fun..... Enough with people like the main figures of this story, Mr.Marinakis end Mr. Beos - all the predators who prey on football and silence even the silence, violating the laws of freedom and the right of expression. Enough is enough.

Thank you for your hospitality.

Μike N.

The blog Mypanathinaikos announced from yesterday the publication of today’s article. I have to admit that I was thrilled with the popularity of the blog since I already had mails warning me for my future physical condition and legal outcomes. First of all I’m a bit far away from Piraeus and you better wait for the summer, at the moment is too cold here to come. Secondly take a cue, there is a long cue of fascists in front of you trying to bully me and I’m afraid you will have to wait for long. And thirdly do you really think that you can bully me?

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Alan2011-03-11 10:27:45
Who the hell is he?

Alan2011-03-11 10:29:14
or better, who the hell he thinks he is?

STERGIOS2011-03-11 12:14:58

chaos132011-03-11 13:31:47
Enough is enough Mr.Marinakis end Mr. Beos

athens2011-03-11 13:53:27

Fighter2011-03-11 15:09:31
Guys you discribe only a small peace of the dirty cloud it covers everything in the greek football league, always with the same protagonist: the red team of Piraeus. Keep watching this issue since there is a long way to go along with it.

Κωστας2011-03-12 22:02:03
It sounds like a misserable, bitter panathinaikos fan

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