Accusations and the Truth: The Adventure of a Deputy Foreign Minister with Responsibility for Hellenes Abroad

Antonis Diamataris with Athanasios Palaiologos, philanthropist, in Mytilene. (Photo by TNH)

The following commentary was published in the Sunday edition of Kathimerini:

I had been hesitant to accept the proposal of Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis to assume the post of Deputy Foreign Minister Responsible for Hellenes Abroad.

Eventually I decided to do it because I believed – and I still believe – that there is no time to lose to strengthen the relationship between the Motherland and Greeks abroad.

So I left my life in New York and returned to Greece after 50 years in the hope that from my new position I could serve both my homeland and the Diaspora.

And indeed in the five months that my tenure lasted, always in cooperation with the Prime Minister, I think we achieved a great deal. We succeeded in laying the foundations for a new ‘spring’ in their relationship.

Greek-Americans enthusiastically received the news of me being chosen for this post. And they supported me to an unbelievable degree when I resigned.

To cite just one example, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew stated in a letter: “We express the official exhilaration and warm thanks of the [Patriarchal] Throne and my self for your zealous work to promote and support the sacred interests of the Church and the Nation during your tenure.”

However, at the beginning of last December, I was victimized, as is well known, by a coordinated attack that is unprecedented for its viciousness and duration, a campaign that aimed at nothing short of political and character assassination.

As a public person, I was aware that it was only a matter of time before the opposition and the media criticized me.

Not a problem. The role of the media is precisely that, to examine those in power.

After all, I did this for 40 years as the Editor-Publisher of the Ethnikos Kirix, the only daily Greek-language newspaper outside of Greece’s borders – which will shortly celebrate its 105th anniversary – and for 22 years in its English sister publication, The National Herald.

However, while I expected a critique of the mission I had undertaken and how I was performing, it was impossible for me to imagine what in fact happened: the lies, the mud, the unchecked reproduction of so-called ‘information,’ my condemnation by commentators – some of whom made up my first name, a classic case of journalistic arrogance and irresponsibility.

And I didn’t expect a former Prime Minister of Greece, no matter how negative my impression was of him, to attack me three times, relying on the ‘information’ dispensed by a man convicted of crimes by the U.S. justice system.

But most of all, I did not expect that commentators and cartoonists of Kathimerini, a newspaper that could constitute a school of journalism for the country, would participate in the campaign to smear my character and, by extension, to remove me from the government.

But let’s look at the horrible ‘crimes’ I was accused of:

The main accusation against me was that I lied about having an MBA from Columbia University in New York.

I hate lies with a passion. And of course, I didn’t lie in this case.

What did I say?

After the noise generated by the attacks, I issued a statement saying that for financial reasons I did not “obtain the relevant degree” and that “I am sorry if the wording I used caused any misunderstanding that I am the holder of that degree,” – meaning the holder of the physical paper, the diploma itself – not the fact that I indeed went to Columbia University Business School and completed the required courses necessary for an MBA.

That I earned my degree is fully confirmed by a December 2019 letter from Columbia University stating that “…the following student [Antonis Diamataris] fulfilled all the requirements for the Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree at Columbia University School of Business on January 26, 1977…”

So where is the lie?

Unfortunately, it took me many days to secure this letter from the University since it has been 43 (!) years since I finished my studies there and my records are on microfilm and somewhere in a warehouse in New Jersey.

I will ignore two of the other accusations as being unworthy of a response, but I will address the accusation that I was simultaneously CEO of U.S. companies and Deputy Foreign Minister in Greece.

Yes, I take responsibility for this. I was late to realize that what was routine in U.S. political life was against Greek law, so I did not manage to complete my resignation from these companies in time.

Mea culpa.

However, beyond my personal situation, I am concerned that the media – and some politicians – have learned nothing from the crisis Greece went through and do not perceive the visible dangers we face as a Nation.

It is, for example, beyond tragic that a former Prime Minister seized upon unexamined “information” from a convicted felon and used it as weapon to strike the Prime Minister, to take his revenge for my criticism, and to end my mission as Deputy Foreign Minister Responsible for Hellenes Abroad, fearing the repercussions from the positive effect on the New Democracy party from the results of my work.

Let me close with this: in our age, the media is in crisis because of revolutionary technological breakthroughs, but also because of the loss of credibility.

So how do we begin to restore their credibility – the irreplaceable element that above all else is the reason for their existence – when not a single media outlet issued a correction for the injustice they committed against me after the evidence I presented during my televised interview with SKAI on December 20 and the stories I ran in our publications?

*Antonis H. Diamataris served as Deputy Foreign Minister with Responsibility for Hellenes Abroad. For 40 years he was Editor-Publisher of Ethnikos Kirix/The National Herald.

6 Comments

  1. Greece is a very tough neighborhood for politics as well as business.

    The dirty secret in the diaspora is that if you want to be left with a million dollars in Greece, bring two million (Disclosure – I think Jewish Americans say this about investing in Israel). Is there anyone in the diaspora who has not heard tales of their fellow omogenia returning to Greece to invest and be swindled in the process? Or worse yet, loose one’s life on the roads of Greece?

    I regret to remark that what happened to Publisher Diamantaris was sadly predictable. The result will be that his experience will serve as a warning to others who are inclined with rose tinted glasses to return to serve their patrida.

    Welcome back Mr. Diamantaris. I wish you a speedy healing of the wounds you endured in service to your homeland.

  2. Diamantaris…the publisher of The Greek Secret Society of the “Glory to America and Israel” Ahepa Masons,.the National Herald Tribune..who claims he never lies and is the victim of a Political assassination by the former ruler of Greece.

    Today , we honor the greatest living American Patriot in the History…Martin Luther King Jr., who was assassinated and murdered by the Secret Society of the U.S government for speaking the truth..”.that the Greatest Purveyor of violence in the world is America”and which Diamantaris has concealed from the Greek Community!

    Former U.S President John F. Kennedy was assassinated two weeks after he warned America about Diamantaris and his Greek and American Secret Societies who lie to rule in speech….

    “For we are opposed by a monolithic and ruthless conspiracy that relies primarily on covert means for expanding its sphere of influence–on infiltration instead of invasion, on subversion instead of elections, on intimidation instead of free choice, on guerrillas by night instead of armies by day. It is a system which has conscripted vast human and material resources into the building of a tightly knit, highly efficient machine that combines military, diplomatic, intelligence, economic, scientific and political operations.”

    Its preparations are concealed, not published. Its mistakes are buried, not headlined, Its dissenters are silenced, not praised. No expenditure is questioned, no rumor is printed, no secret is revealed.”’

  3. cont…

    Diamantaris is tight about one thing….Let me close with this: in our age, the media is in crisis because of revolutionary technological breakthroughs, but also because of the loss of credibility.

    So how do we begin to restore their credibility – the irreplaceable element that above all else is the reason for their existence – when not a single media outlet issued a correction for the injustice they committed against me after the evidence

    Did you Diamantaris issue a correction for the injustices against Julianne Assange your fellow journalist. after the evidence , now rotting in an English Jail for extradiiton to your SS officers in America because he told the truth about the war crimes of the U.S government in Iraq which you have concealed!

    Did you Diamantaris..issue a correction for the injustices against the leaders of libya, Iraq, Syria, Yemen , Iran , Venezuela after the evidence, because they refused to surrender their sovereignty and which your Billionaire Aristocratic brother ,Donald Trump.revealed WHAT LIES YOU PRINTED…….

    ” US Killed Millions in War Based on Lies . “We went to war under a false & now disproved premise,

    “The United States has spent EIGHT TRILLION DOLLARS fighting and policing in the Middle East. Thousands of our Great Soldiers have died or been badly wounded.i.

    Millions of people have died on the other side. GOING INTO THE MIDDLE EAST IS THE WORST DECISION EVER MADE IN THE HISTORY OF OUR COUNTRY!

    YOU ARE A LIAR!

  4. Tony,

    Your biggest mistake was thinking you are a Greek and not an AMERICAN first. And it bit you in the ass. You had no business going back. The spoiled socialist Euro-trash “modern” Greeks hate anyone with successful American experiences. What happened to you was entirely foreseeable.

    Now, will you excuse me from this comments section? I have to clean up the pools of diarrhea left on my floor by Grecian Bloviator Extraordinaire (GBE) Mike GianJokos in the above last two comments. Category III level de-contaminates must be deployed in the clean up.

    1. First Spiro…please address your fellow Aristocratic right wing member of your Greek Secret Society of Glory to America and Israel Ahepa Masons properly… as “BROTHER TONY”.

      By the way do they still use the Secret Handshake and secret words in the ear of your brothers …”America”, before they start any meeting , in order to secure their dirty secrets from non brothers infiltrating their cult lunatic organization! You would think there secret code would be .”.Greece” or “Hellenism”..

      Oh my..I have just revealed the Secret Word of the Greek Zionist organization of America.. what does this mean for the American made Greek and Israeli despora?

      So the readers know ..Spiro ..has just called all Greeks who hate America and the Capitalism system of America .in Greece and America …as get this.. “SOCIALIST EURO-TRASH MODERN GREEKS”..who do not appreciate the EXCEPTIONAL EXPERIENCE AND CULTURE OF BEING MADE IN AMERICA!

      Well you are right about one thing based on Pew Polls of the population of Greece …these Deplorable Socialist of Greece ..in fact do not like Americans…and record only a 37% favorable perception of America, and actually,have a 55 % favorable opinion of Russia and Putin! It get worse .for Trump .. 73% of Greeks actually dislike him with a Passion!

      Spiro.,actually it is right wing Aristocrat Mistotakis.who has failed the people of Greece by only sending American Diamantaris, and not Geoffrey Pyatt, Ahepan Robert Menendez,

  5. cont..
    your Greek American Zionist Secret society of” Glory to America and Israel Ahepa despora, and the U.S occupation forces and bases back to America!

    You seem to be confused…and on the wrong side it is Mistotakis and Tsipras.who refuse to remove your U.S led EU /Nato Socialist Trash from Greece..which the populace in Greece demanded!

    AS far as hating Americans..I am a citizen of America.and I hate America for its EXCEPTIONAL CULTURE of ANGLO WHITE SUPREMACIST RACIST, who commit crimes against humanity everyday to spread there culture of hate and wars to make lots of money for themselves

    NO.. I am proud of the people of Greece..who join socialist Martin Luther King Jr. in the being EXCEPTIONALin seeing evil and not cooperating with it, while, MISTOTAKIS AND YOU promote evil and sell their souls for power and money!

    “He who passively accepts evil is as much involved in it as he who helps to perpetrate it. He who accepts evil without protesting against it is really cooperating with it.”

    “So often I had Castigated those who by silence or inaction condone and thereby cooperated with the evils of Racial injustice. I had to therefore speak out if I was to erase my name from the Bombs which fall over North and South Vietnam from the cannisters of Napalm.
    .
    The time had come ..indeed it was past due , when I had to Disavow and Disconnect myself from those who in the name of peace burn, maim, and kill”

    REV. MARTIN LUTHER KING JR.

    AN AMERICAN TO…

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