Greek investigative journalist murdered
Police reporter and blogger Giorgos Karaivaz was murdered in broad daylight in an Athens suburb on Friday. Two hooded perpetrators on a moped shot the 52-year-old dead. Karaivaz was an investigative journalist specialising in covering organised crime and its links to politics. Commentators see problematic dynamics in play that go beyond this case.
Gangsters not the only threat to journalists
Greek politicians have played a key role in creating a hostile mood towards journalists, says Dimitris Efvymakis, a columnist with Protagon:
“I don't know who armed the Karaivaz assassins; most likely it was members of organised crime organisations who have nothing to do with political parties. But I do know that it is not only gangsters who pose a threat to journalists. Fanatics who constantly talk about 'bought pen-pushers' and 'stooges of the system' are just as dangerous. ... Journalists are in danger because tonnes of poison is slung at them on a daily basis by paid trolls and armies of stupid fanatics who construct artificial enemies and demand 'popular justice' against them.”
Something is rotten in Greek democracy
Kostas Vaxevanis, journalist and publisher of the weekly Documento, has himself been threatened and arrested for his work. He writes:
“If a journalist is killed, it means that the parallel state has taken over the state or, even worse, that the two are working hand in glove. ... When journalists are killed and the killer is not a madman, it means that democracy is rotten and the people must live with the stench. It's the ultimate debasement of the rule of law. ... When a journalist is killed it's more than a crime, it's proof of a dangerous reality.”