GREECE PAID JOURNALISTS TO PROMOTE 'GREEKNESS' OF MACEDONIA
During 1989 to 1993 from secret funds of the Greek Foreign Ministry headed by Andonis Samaras, Greek journalists received $130 million dollars (US) to promote the "greekness of Macedonia"!
Although these funds were originally intended for external promotion (read disinformation), they, according to the testimony of former Prime Minister Constantinos Mitsotakis, ended up in pockets of Greek journalists.
- All of the funds were in black plastic bags, like those black trash bags you see, filled only with 5,000 bank notes. There were never checks, it was always cash. The money was mainly for propaganda over Macedonia's name, but instead of going abroad, this propaganda was directed towards the inside, our country - said Mitsotakis in front of a commission summoned to clarify the case.
The payment of huge lump sums coincided with the independence of Macedonia and the strengthening of internal propaganda and the so called "macedoniazation" in Greece.
This scandal, which was first actualized by Athens based Eleftherotypia was burried in 1994 though it re-emerged once again after Andonis Samaras was elected as leader of New Democracy, which suffered a defeat by PASOK in the fall elections.
Samaras had been dismissed in 1992 as a Foreign Minister by then-Prime Minister Mitsotakis, who, like Papandreou has now himself assumed the foreign ministry.
The investigation was completed without conclusions. These secret payments were investigated by Mitsotakis’ successor, the Greek Foreign Ministry, Government and current president Karolos Papoulias. The Greek Government issued no information and closed the investigation in the name of "higher national interests".
The dilemma whether the Greek Government bribed journalists as well as publishers across the country to publish material that would promote Athens’ agenda hangs in the air.
Andonis Samaras publicly acknowledged large amounts of money were paid to publishers, journalists, even local officials, adding all money were used for “national useful purposes”.
It is indicative that all documents were destroyed prior to Mitsotakis’ takeover of Greece’s FM from Samaras - on April 13, 1993. Samaras himself attested that the documents were destroyed on March 17 that year. The only thing left are the total amounts and recorded statements - the money were distributed by (Manolis Kalamidas close to Samaras and Dimitris Avramopoulos, a man of trust to Mitsotakis).
The scandal itself surfaced following the collapse of the Mitsotakis government in October 10, 1993. To make things more interesting, the Foreign Minister of the new government of PASOK - after Mitsotakis and Samaras - was none other than the current present President of Greece Karolos Papoulias!
Papoulias engaged a United States attorney, former judge, who practically discovered the secret funds. The investigation never revealed the names of journalists and news organizations that were at the receiving end of these payouts.
According to documents from the investigation on March 10, 1994 Mitsotakis before the Commission confirmed that there were secret funds from the MFA, adding funds also became available from banks and other large companies. Since taking office, Mitsotakis described the situation in the MFA as "bad" adding “presently we have only 40-48 million drachmas (220 thousand dollars), while large sums of money are directed to unknown persons without the appropriate paperwork”.
Mitsotakis explained the funds were distributed by the Minister, and controlled by three member commission appointed by the Minister. All documents, if any, were destroyed twice annually.
The former Greek prime minister asked Samaras to explain where the money went. Samaras never provided a concise answer, saying the money were spent on “Advertisement”.
MD: Well, that's not surprising, they will do anything to convince the world