CULTURE

At the dawn of 2002

This week Helbi is focusing on Kathimerini, whose editor-in-chief Stamos Zoulas has just retired from his post at the helm of the newspaper but will continue as a member of the board and columnist. His successor is Kathimerini’s former managing editor Antonis Karakousis, who in turn is replaced by editor Christos Panagopoulos. Essentially, the changing of the guard is not expected to usher in any real changes regarding content, as the three men have been working closely together for several years. All three are talented, experienced journalists and all are Athenians, although they hail from different regions of Greece. Zoulas is from Astakos, in Aitoloakarnania, western Greece, Karakousis from Domokos, Fthiotida and Panagopoulos from Patras. The president of Kathimerini SA, Aristides Alafouzos, whose hand is firmly on the helm of a progressive and independent Kathimerini, is from a seafaring family of Santorini. A forefather played a part in the 1821 War of Independence. His sons, Yiannis Alafouzos, vice-chairman of the board of Kathimerini SA, and the newspaper’s publisher Themis Alafouzos, board member of Kathimerini SA, are following in their father’s footsteps. To complete this survey of the geographical origins of Kathimerini executives, let us not forget the editor-in-chief of Kathimerini English Edition, Nikos Konstandaras, who hails from Rethymnon, on the island of Crete. Publishers, editors and staff gathered on New Year’s Eve on the fifth floor to raise their glasses in a toast to honor their outgoing colleague. With a view of the Bay of Faliron as a backdrop, the sun shining through the plate-glass windows overlooking the sea, we all applauded our worthy editor-in-chief who will still be with us to advise, and to write, but will now have more free time for his wife Chrysi. In the words of Aristides Alafouzos, Stamos Zoulas has been a «successful director.» He takes with him this praise, and the love and respect of his colleagues, which as Zoulas himself said is his «greatest joy.» We then saw the first page of the first issue of 2002, of an 83-year-old newspaper characterized by its tradition and its reputation for pluralism. The centerpiece of Kathimerini’s reception room, where the farewell ceremony was held, is a painting by Professor Panayiotis Tetsis entitled «Anatoli» – dawn breaking over an island landscape. Tetsis’s full-scale painting «The Sea,» bought by Aristides Alafouzos, has gone on show at the National Gallery, prior to being moved in turn to Kathimerini’s «blue tower» at Neo Faliron. 2002 has begun well for Kathimerini and its English edition, published with the International Herald Tribune. Cont. for the normal UK runs at less than W/S 100 for Baltic trade vessels are fixed at a premium. Meteorologist Dimitris Ziakopoulos, head of the National Weather Bureau’s forecasting service, told Kathimerini that last month in Kastoria, northern Greece, the mercury dropped to -22.8C, breaking the 1988 record of 18.6; in Florina it went down to -21 (previous record -17), in Trikala to -20.4, Larissa -20.2 and Thessaloniki to -9.8 degrees.