Greece: sulphurous football tycoon Marinakis at war with government – 11/12/2022, 06:45
In this photo taken on September 5, 2022, Brazilian player Marcelo (R) holds his shirt with Olympiakos owner Evangelos Marinakis (L) during an official presentation at the Georgios Karaiskakis Stadium in Athens (AFP / Angelos Tzortzini)
Evangelos Marinakis, a wealthy shipowner, media executive and football club owner, is one of Greece’s most powerful but also most controversial figures, currently waging open war against the prime minister.
The 55-year-old businessman from the major port of Piraeus is now facing off against conservative Kyriakos Mitsotakis amid an illegal wiretapping scandal that has dogged the government since the summer.
Evangelos Marinakis, owner of the Greek football clubs Olympiakos and England’s Nottingham Forest, is among 33 public figures, including ministers, targeted by the government’s wiretapping with Predator software, according to recent disclosures by a Greek weekly publication. a spy
– Impact force –
Although Kyriakos Mitsotakis categorically denied Documento’s claims, Evangelos Marinakis, who has considerable clout thanks to his media empire of TV channels, newspapers and websites, was unable to convince him.
In a press statement, the ship owner directly attacked the Prime Minister.
“Only the actors of the underworld resort to such means,” he condemned.
In this August 6, 2020 file photo, Olympiacos owner Evangelos Marinakis looks at his phone during the Europa League match between Wolverhampton Wanderers and Olympiacos at Molineux Stadium in Wolverhampton, England (AFP/ Lindsey Parnaby)
“The prime minister must find courage, move the earth and heaven, clarify this dirty case and bring the culprits to justice,” he insisted, calling this state case “a corruption of democracy.”
A little while ago, the head of the government made a harsh speech on television: “Some people think that because they own the club, they can blackmail, dictate the government’s line of conduct, or control the media.”
However, Evangelos Marinakis is among those close to the ruling family and Mr Mitsotakis’ party, New Democracy (ND).
In 1998, he witnessed the marriage of the Prime Minister’s sister, Dora Bakoyiannis, herself a member of the majority and especially the former Minister of Foreign Affairs.
– Scope –
The sulphurous businessman from a family of shipowners also funded ND’s campaign headquarters ahead of the 2019 election, which the Conservatives won.
His father was also the father of the head of government and a friend of the former prime minister (1990-1993) Konstantin Mitsotakis.
The tycoon, whose fortune was estimated at more than $600 million during the decade of Greece’s economic recession, took advantage of the crisis to expand his sphere of influence.
Ranked the 47th most influential person in the merchant marine industry in 2021 by Lloyd’s List magazine, the shipowner has also been a city councilor in Piraeus since 2014, exercising his influence in the management of one of the Mediterranean’s major ports.
His company Capital Maritime and its affiliates operate a fleet of 98 vessels in total.
The man likes to develop the image of a benefactor who works for the common good, funding intensive care units during the Covid-19 crisis.
He also signed a cooperation agreement with UNICEF on behalf of Olympiakos football club, which he owns since 2010.
Owning the most successful and popular club in Greece gives Mr. Marinakis prestige and unwavering support from football fans.
He is also the owner of the English Premier League club “Nottingham Forest”.
Giannis Zaimakis, professor of cultural sociology at the University of Crete, describes “the nexus of patronage and clientelism as Greek society.”
So there are many clashes between this boss and different players of Greek football. Mr Marinakis recently threatened to expel Olympiakos from the national championship, according to his claims, in open conflict with the Federation, which is “dominated by the deep state and organized crime”.
In addition to his sulphurous reputation, he also has trouble with the law.
He, who was acquitted after the river trial due to negotiations, is under investigation for his alleged involvement in the case of “Nur 1” where the cargo ship carrying 2.1 tons of heroin stopped.
Mr. Marinakis vehemently denies all the allegations.