Tuesday, July 20, 2010


Socrates Giolias, the blogger/journalist behind well-known Troktiko is being buried today after being shot yesterday in front of his house following a gangster-styled ambush. His pregnant wife says the assailants rang his doorbell and told him his car was being stolen. When he arrived at the front door of his apartment building, 16 shots were fired into him.

Such an attack against a journalist is unprecedented in Greece. Ballistic tests have linked the shooting to the terrorist group “Revolutionaries’ Sect”. Indeed, 13 of the cartridges found came from the same gun used in the June 2009 murder of 31-year-old counter-terrorism police officer gunned down while guarding a key female witness in the trial of the guerrilla group, “Revolutionary Popular Struggle.”

So far it does not seem like a conventional terrorist attack in the way we have come to understand terrorism in Greece.

Troktiko is a blog that has a strong voice in Greece and it has been responsible for giving away many names of corrupt politicians and businessmen. Socrates, as one of the administrators of the blog, did not hide behind the safety of anonymity and he paid the price of this with his life. Evidently, he came too close to finding out something…perhaps about organized crime that funds terrorism or maybe the “terrorism” slant is just a cover-up being used to hide the real motives. I’d just follow the corruption money, but that doesn’t narrow the suspects in a country bursting at the seams with illegality.

The reasons will probably never come to light meeting with the same fate as the Siemens scandal, the phone tapping scandal, the Vatopedi monastery scandal and the ongoing list of corruption. All that we know for certain is that his 2-year-old and unborn child will grow up without him. I doubt justice will ever be served. Is justice ever served when big interests are at stake?


Anonymous said...

Such things should not have place, this is really terrible. But since this already happened and we can't go back in time to prevent it, the best we can do is to write about it, because such news shouldn't be ignored. In many ways it's similar to Russian journalist, Anna Politkovskaya's death.

Ro Magnolia said...

He sounds like he was an incredibly brave man to ferret out the truth and expose scandal. What a sad and horrible death, and as you pointed out, how utterly sad that his little ones will grow up without a father. Absolutely tragic. I hope his death does not discourage others from speaking the truth, but rather inspires more people to demand the truth be exposed.

Purple Cow said...

Greece, so far, despite its many weaknesses, has always been a place where you can speak your mind without needing to be brave. Infact, people get away with saying the most outrageous, notorious things...Corruption is not being kept under cover because people are scared of revealing names but because every political faction and media owners are buried deep in theft and scandal.

Something isn't right in how THIS story is getting reported. "terrorism" is such a broad mantle that it's easy and convenient.

Robin said...

I got your comment on my blog. No, you were right. This blog needed to be written today as it is timely and important. You understand the politics of Greece and how things are usually reported, so if it smells fishy (then maybe something is rotting somewhere). However, as you said, no matter how this turns out, it doesn't change the outcome for this man's family. It remains a tragedy. So sad. (Oh, and you can totally do your copy/paste blog tomorrow.)

Phoenix said...

This is so incredibly sad and tragic and meaningless.

It just shows you the power of journalism and telling the truth when others would kill to have it silenced. And it rarely works, although an innocent and brave man paid his life for it.

So sad.

Purple Cow said...

It would seem that way Phoenix...but I think that when dealing with such tragedies we should assume that nothing is really as it seems though it may also be exactly that way.

ROBIN...I'll do copy/paste today!

Heather Taylor said...

This is just horrible. Rest in peace, dear man.

ecelliam said...

Very sorry to hear that, very sad,
Sounds like Greece is like the United States here people are tearing down our president in particuler the Republican Party, we also have a new party The "Tea Party" and they are displaying the most outragious,racist things about our president.I guess that means that we are free.

Anonymous said...

Was he your friend? I ask because your words don't quite feel genuine.

Also, I disagree that Greece is a place where people are free to speak their mind. It's a place where Greeks are free to speak their mind, and anything deemed negative is anti-Greek if spoken by a non-Greek no matter how true and backed with evidence. It's a country of chauvinism and Greek pride.

Perhaps you're unaware of that, since you're a hyphenated Greek. As a non-Greek living here for 15 years, I'm still not entitled to disseminate factual information and told to go home on a regular basis. Yet, I speak the language, pay my taxes and have been legal here from day one.

Purple Cow said...

"Friend" is an interesting word...

Did I know him personally? yes. Did we hang out? no.

When i wrote these words I was struck by the curiosity of the crime. Since then, there have been so many eulogies in his honour and I have considered various facets of his life that many things about this whole case seem exceptionally strange. I sensed this from the beginning and wasn't sure how I felt...Yes, outrage. Yes, curiosity. Yes, I felt that I should blog about it.

It is not your usual terrorist strike. I don't think he was killed because of something he wrote. Maybe it was something we did...will we ever know the truth?

Sorry you feel racism. It must be awful living in a place where you feel the people are chauvinistic and where you feel so out of place. My parents had felt racism in Australia, whereas I hadn't. I guess its not knowing the language or the cultural communication and not just a matter of paying taxes. Don't see it as "racism". Greeks are a heated lot and generally NOT politically correct. If they disagree with you and you're Greek they'll call you a wanker, if you're a non-Greek they'll send you home...Me? Because I'm "hyphenated". They just say "Wanker, go home!" The trick is to not take it too seriously.

Good luck. Take care.

Purple Cow said...

PS Did you read Troktiko, anonymous? It appears to have officially closed down on Saturday.