Greece’s ‘ET’ closes, Athens Journalists Strike

By: E&P Staff

Greek national daily Elefthero Typos, founded 26 years ago and revived in the last two years under new ownership (E&P, Nov. 2008), has closed. The announcement was made yesterday on a radio station owned by the publisher, which also was to cease operation.

Shareholders decided unanimously on Friday to liquidate ET (“Free Press”), its sister paper and the radio station. The principle owners, billionaire couple Theodoros Angelopoulos and Gianna Angelopoulou-Daskalaki, said they were withdrawing from the media business, blaming “continued losses” for their decision.

The livingingreece blog reports the company carried debt of 34 million euros. As many as 400 jobs are expected to be lost at the newspaper alone.

In an attractive, award-winning redesign, the tabloid was published from a grand new headquarters in a partly rebuilt and completely remodeled structure erected for but never used by the press at the Athens Olympic Village. As Athens 2004 President, Publisher Gianna Angelopoulou-Daskalaki — a former member of parliament — is credited with returning the Summer Games to Greece.

Athens News Agency reported that soon after the newspaper’s closing was announced yesterday, the city’s newspaper journalists union called a 24-hour strike, to have ended today at 5 PM Athens time, to protest the closure of newspapers, as well as other media-related work issues.

Earlier this month, ET lost its Washington diplomatic correspondent, Lambros Papantoniou. The Washington Post reported the 63-year-old “Mr. Lambros” died May 28 at Georgetown University Hospital of acute encephalitis.

A journalist since 1975 who worked for various publications and broadcast outlets and who held degrees in international law, Papantoniou became “a fixture at State Department briefings,” where he was known for persistent, intricate questions, according to the Post.

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