Foreign ministry hits out over defamation suit


The Foreign Ministry issued a strongly worded statement on Wednesday over an article in the Financial Times citing concerns about the independence of the Greek judicial system in the wake of a court ruling vindicating Minister Nikos Kotzias in a defamation suit against a small Greek publisher.

The ministry dismissed the FT’s article as “unsubstantiated,” claiming it “propagates unprecedented lies aimed at discrediting the Greek government.” It rebuffed claims in the article that the assets of the Athens Review of Books (ARB) had been frozen after Kotzias won a defamation suit against the magazine over a reader’s letter it published describing him as a former “fanatical” Stalinist.

The ministry said the FT did not publish a response by Kotzias’s lawyer claiming the ARB is “waging a defamatory campaign” against Kotzias. The ARB hit back, saying its bank accounts have been frozen.