Greek newspaper publisher fined for op-ed calling Jewish leader a thief

Court imposes $2,200 penalty on Stefanos Chios for describing Athens Jewish community president as ‘a crude Jew who runs a loan-shark firm that has bought the debts of poor Greeks’

Cnaan Liphshiz is The Times of Israel's Jewish World reporter

Stefanos Chios. (Screen capture/YouTube)
Stefanos Chios. (Screen capture/YouTube)

JTA — A court in Greece convicted a newspaper publisher of defamation and hate speech in connection with an op-ed that called a Jewish community leader a thief.

The Athens Court of Justice of First Instance last month imposed a $2,200 fine on Stefanos Chios, the publisher of the Makeleio newspaper, the central Board of Jewish Communities in Greece said in a statement on Tuesday.

“A crude Jew who runs a loan-shark firm has bought the debts of poor Greeks. The President of the Jewish Community who pretends to be our friend, is stealing our money through the back door,” Chios wrote in a 2017 article about Minos Moissis, the previous president of the Jewish Community of Athens.

Moissis is a co-founder of the SYNERGON Partners banking and finance firm. He filed a lawsuit against Chios three years ago.

In addition to defaming Moissis personally, the paper “contributed deliberately to the reproduction of a rhetoric of hate against the Greek Jewry,” the court said.

A screenshot of the online edition of the 2017 op-ed in Makeleio about Minos Moissis. (via JTA)

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