Prominent journalist Andreas Paraschos violated an article of the Journalist Code of Ethics in a piece he wrote in January, the Committee of Journalistic Ethics (EDD) announced on Tuesday.
Paraschos, the former editor of Kathimerini, suggested on January 10 in an article titled ‘The demon has taken us’ that President Nicos Anastasiades chose not to solve the Cyprus problem in 2017 because he did not want to end the citizenship by investment programme, described as the goose that laid the golden egg.
But on Tuesday, the EDD said that Paraschos violated the code which states: “The media must take care in order not to publish inaccuracies, not to mislead and not to distort truthful news, information or comments.”
In case of violation, according to the EDD, the publication should move towards immediate correction or apology and that while the media have the right to analyse events and support certain positions – they should make a clear distinction between fact and interpretation, comment or conjecture.
The EDD further reiterated that is not in a position to impose any penalties or award damages but that the findings of the committee are obliged to be published by the defendant media organisation in question.
In Paraschos’ article, he alleged that Anastasiades had confided to Greece’s prime minister at the time, Alexis Tsipras, that the programme fetched his law firm €300m a year, which he transferred to the Seychelles on private flights. Tsipras flatly rejected this claim soon after the article was published, saying such a conversation had never taken place.
After Tsipras’ denial, Anastasiades called on Paraschos to either substantiate the unfounded claims he made or admit he had been a victim of misinformation.
Anastasiades later said in a statement that he was seeing with regret “an orchestrated effort to smear his name either through whispers or false reports.”
At the time, Diko leader Nicolas Papadopoulos told Politis radio that he too had heard the rumour, but he did not think it was right to repeat it then since he had no proof.