"The new face which is trying to enter dynamically and officially the world of Media is shipping owner and president of Olympiakos Vangelis Marinakis. He is the most unknown among the candidates for the new TV licenses, the strongest new player and the youngest of them all.
Vangelis Marinakis, son of shipping owner and politician with Nea Dimokratia political party Miltiadis Marinakis, became famous at 2010, when he was appointed as president of Olympiakos, replacing Sokratis Kokkalis, at the age of 43.
Six years later, the president and founder of shipping company 'Capital Maritime & Trading Corp', besides the successful (according to titles and financial ability of the club) president of Olympiakos is also one of the 100 most successful shipping owners worldwide (65th place at 2015).
Of course, none of his dozens of ships is traveling under the Greek flag, even if they have Greek names such as Atlantas, Alexander the Great, Achilleas, Aristotelis, Aris, Atrotos etc.
The favorite flag of Mr. Marinakis is that of Liberia (32 tankers and cargo ships), with the flag of Marshall islands finishing in second place.
Meanwhile, during those years, he managed to be elected first at Piraeus City State Council, become president of Super League and Vice President of the Hellenic Football Federation.
The most important thing is that hundreds of thousands of fans and dozens of journalists are supporting him massively.
He used the old and successful tactics from the past, the same as almost all of his competitors in Greece and important businessmen such as Silvio Berlusconi abroad.
The opinion of Lamprakis Media Group towards Marinakis' candidacy is interesting. After many years of 'silence' about the legal problems of the businessman, they published an article against him a few weeks ago.
Still, according to Efimerida ton Sintakton information, the file Vangelis Marinakis' company 'Alter Ego' published for a new TV license is full and his candidacy is currently very strong.
Last May, Vangelis Marinakis visited Maximou Hall and had a meeting with Minister of State Nikos Pappas, in which they spoke about various issues.
The president of Olympiakos is claiming that he wants 'to see the same attitude from the State like that towards Vardinogiannis family'.
The offshore companies, 'Parapolitika' newspaper and 'Proto Thema' loan
'I am not afraid to be involved in politics, because I have no business with the Greek State', stated Mr. Marinakis before Piraeus City elections in March 2014. This repeated argument, his main weapon ahead of TV licenses procedure, is kind of falling down after the recent information of the Interrogation Committee towards the loan deals of Media groups.
It seems that Vangelis Marinakis is participating, via offshore company, to 'Proto Thema' newspaper, which received an important loan from the Greek banks recently, the banks which increased their capital again with money from the tax-paying citizens.
The second part of the reportage is coming from evidence from Bank of Greece. Vangelis Marinakis has guaranteed, again via offshore company, for the loan of 'Parapolitika' newspaper from Bank of Greece, in order to buy a radio station and the necessary equipment.
The offshore company paid 1.266.000 dollars and according to Member of Parliament Nektarios Santorinios' recent statement, the owner of it is Mr. Marinakis.
Of course, it could possibly be some other businessman with the same name. Still, it is interesting to find if Mr. Marinakis has ever paid taxes for his relationship with those offshore companies and Media Group.
'Zougla' TV show and the wired conversations
As it was excluded recently by the conversations wired by Secret Service, the president of Olympiakos was ordering publisher Giannis Kourtakis in May 2012 about the front page of 'Parapapolitika' newspaper.
Two TV shows, 'Diki' of Sky channel and 'Zougla' of famous journalist Makis Triantafyllopoulos, presented recently new information about that time and the discussions between Kourtakis and Marinakis.
It seems that they were trying to press politician Simos Kedikoglou about the handling of a sex scandal. Simos Kedikoglou stated that 'they were pressing me hard, but I explained to them that I was not involved in advertising and Media finances'.
The publisher of 'Parapolitika' newspaper claims that the voice at the wired conversations is not his and that he will take legal action.
At a different part of the conversations, Vangelis Marinakis is also ordering the Press Officer of Olympiakos to promote some certain news towards the reportage of the team to 'friendly Media', such as 'Parapolitika'.
Allies, enemies and old 'friendships'
Vangelis Marinakis was among the owners of Sky channel about 10 years ago. His relationship with Panathinaikos' president Giannis Alafouzos broke at summer of 2012, mostly because of political reasons and not because of their clubs' rivalry.
After June 2012 elections, Mr. Marinakis sent a nonjudicial note to Giannis Alafouzos, accusing him of lying in order to protect his personal interests. That happened because Sky channel was claiming that SYRIZA political party will win the elections, while according to 'Pontiki' newspaper, Vangelis Marinakis is a close friend of Prime Minister Antonis Samaras and was trying to help him against his opponents.
Mr. Marinakis finally left Sky channel at summer of 2012, accusing Mr. Alafouzos as 'the pimp of Center-Right political area' and since then the TV channel of Panathinaikos' president has published hundreds of reportage mostly about the two notorious cases of match-fixing scandal and the 2.1 tones of heroine at drug-carrying ship 'Noor 1'.
The case of 'Noor 1'
Businessman and Olympiakos' former official Aimilios Kotsonis was the key figure at the case of 'Noor 1'.
Because of his relationship with Olympiakos, some Media blasted Vangelis Marinakis, while many others remain silent.
The name of Mr. Marinakis was never mentioned at the court, while there is still no evidence of his involvement in the case of heroine.
Aimilios Kotsonis, who was finally fined with 10 years in prison for drug-trafficking, was claiming that he is 'the trusted man of Vangelis Marinakis at the oil business of Dubai'.
A former close friend of Olympiakos' president and current Mayor of Volos City, Achilleas Beos, has changed his mind about him and accusing him that he left him to face alone the case of match-fixing scandal.
'All the dictatorships have fallen, the one of Greek football will have the same fate. I am happy for not speaking with Mr. Marinakis any more, because he is a friend of my enemy, Alexis Kougias', stated.
Famous lawyer Alexis Kougias followed the opposite path. He was claiming in the past that the president of Olympiakos is involved in a serious criminal organization, but nowadays he is speaking about terrible lies against Mr. Marinakis.
The current president of the Hellenic Football Federation, 69-year-old Giorgos Girtzikis from Xanthi region, is also among the allies of Vangelis Marinakis since his election at 2015.
Achilleas Beos claims that Girtzikis is actually an employee of Marinakis, while he also had some legal problems towards the scandal of health-card, which caused a financial damage of 29 million euros to the Hellenic Football Federation.
Businessman Nikos Pirounias was also a friend of Mr. Marinakis, but their relationship has also broken since December 2014 and after that 'Diki' TV show excluded one of his wired conversations, in which he is commenting on the members of the court which will judge 'Noor 1' case.
The second case
Vangelis Marinakis was also involved in another legal case, related to Greek football. He was accused of five felony crimes (the establishment of a criminal gang, match-fixing, fraud, bribery and perjury) and has been banned for life from any football activity.
Attorney Stamatis Daskalopoulos is handling his case and Mr. Marinakis recently filled a complaint against him at the Supreme Court.
With those legal problems, many important Media of England (BBC, Guardian, Mirror, Telegraph) blasting him in recent articles and with Olympiakos facing financial problems after their failure to advance to Champions League's group stage for the first time after many seasons, many people are wondering why he wants so much to get one of the new TV licenses.
The past of many competitors of Mr. Marinakis has proved that when a businessman is facing legal or financial problems, being the owner of a TV station is definitely not a bad idea.
The new Media group
The publisher of Parapolitika Media Group is holding an excellent relationship with the president of Olympiakos and they had published the exclusive reportage about 'Alter Ego' company's candidacy for the new TV licenses.
If you search the older issues of the newspapers, you will not find even one negative article against Mr. Marinakis, who is usually having lunch with the officials and workers of the Media group at a restaurant at Nea Smyrni, while he is also attending to their events and religious fests.
In February 2013, the publisher of 'Parapolitika' and lawyer-politician Makis Voridis had sued 'Avgi' newspaper for their article against the relationship between Prime Minister Antonis Samaras, businessman Vangelis Marinakis and 'Parapolitika' newspaper, in which they were also speaking about corruption in Media, plans for a new radio station and a TV magazine.
No politica (?)
Vangelis Marinakis has managed to keep the politics outside of Olympiakos' Karaiskaki Stadium. The hardcore fans of Olympiakos made clear that they will obey the concept of 'No Poltica' after the murder of leftist singer Pavlos Fyssas from far-right extremists back at 2013.
Meanwhile, 'Parapolitika' newspaper has stopped blasting SYRIZA political party and Alexis Tsipras, as they were doing in the past. Still, they are clearly supporting Nea Dimokratia political party.
The family of Vangelis Marinakis attended a recent event at Chania for the birthday of publisher Giannis Kourtakis, along with many politicians of Nea Dimokratia political party.
'Parapolitika' Media group keeps blasting the other Media groups, especially those of Giannis Alafouzos (Sky channel, Kathimerini) and AEK's owner Dimitris Melissanidis (Dimokratia, Espresso).
The issues of Piraeus port and the control of legal and internet gambling (a lot of money, even through financial crisis) are more important at this kind of fights than any rivalries between football clubs.
Vangelis Marinakis was also involved in 'Koriopolis' match fixing scandal, as president of Super League at 2011.
He refused all the charges against him and was finally vindicated in 2015, after the decision of Athens Appeal Attorney, along with 58 people, while 93 others will face trial.
Still, the case will be re-examined because of new evidence, which were ignored at the first trial', was the article of "Efimerida ton Sintakton" newspaper about Vangelis Marinakis.