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The other Petros Kostopoulos

04 March 2012 / 14:03:09  GRReporter
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Shaking hands with Andreas Papandreou made him a follower of PASOK forever, as Petros likes to say. "It felt as if electricity went through my body", he admitted. Another thing he liked repeating, was that him and Andreas were born in the same day (5th of Feb). It was Papandreou who appointed him in 1981 on a high position in the Greek mission in Brussels. Then their paths separated, but when he returned to the government in 1993 Papandreou gave his first interview before Kostopoulos. It was published in the journal "ΜΕΝ" with the title "Andreas’s Great Comeback". Then they don’t see each other for a long time, but meanwhile Kostopoulos wrote for "CLICK" lots of articles against PASOK and its chairman, which naturally Andreas Papandreou read. "Why did you go so far against us?", he asked him once in front of the Prime Minister's residence. This is one of the few times when Petros, who always had an answer for everything, did not know what to say.

On 21st of November, 1995 Andreas Papandreou was admitted in the cardiac surgery center "Onassis". TV channels report that his health condition is critical. Petros was constantly talking on the phone with Laliotis. He had just established the publishing company ΙΜΑΚΟ. The second issue of the magazine "NITRO" was almost ready, but Petros stopped the issue. He wanted to dedicate the editorial to Andreas Papandreou, but ultimately he decided to write himself a large dedication. Petros never wrote himself, he didn’t even touch a computer, he always dictated, usually to Sofia Kindi, who was his close friend and an outstanding journalist.

That evening he dictated an exciting article dedicated to Andreas Papandreou, titled "The man who cares little about history." He considered Papandreou to be his "second father" and mourned the coming end of his life without tears and sorrow, but with courage, celebrating as a modern Zorbas. Papandreou, who read it because he didn’t die then, but seven months later also liked the farewell article.

The Intellectual Petros

In 1975 he went to Paris to study economics at the Sorbonne. He had no money, but the strength of his youth was enough. His father had a fortune, but in the 60s he gradually lost it, and in the 70s he already worked as a taxi driver in Volos. When he returned from Paris during the holidays and festivals Petros also drove the taxi to earn some pocket money. The money that his father sent him was not enough, and like many students he had to be very ingenious to make a living. 20 years later, in 1995, he remembers about those days in "CLICK" where money is plentiful and with the salary (15% on net profit), he built his house in Mykonos, which he now lost.

He returned from Paris with a doctorate in economics, and his thesis was influenced by the academic interests of Andreas Papandreou: "Economic development in the periphery of capitalism". Kostopoulos, however, does not pay too much attention to his diplomas and he rarely talks about them. His thesis remained forgotten, when he moved from his home in Tissio in the 90s. A friend of his, who is the next tenant of the house, found it thrown on the floor and brought it to him in "CLICK".

Petros did not want to be viewed as an intellectual and he didn’t like us to act as "thinking people". «You're not good for "CLICK"», he used to say to me. "You’re too smart". I answered him that he was "even worse intellectual", but he was hiding it thoroughly.

Kostopoulos’s philosophy is that if life is an inevitable path from the womb to the tomb, why not take smaller or greater risks in the interval that has been allotted to you. Why not even try the "wrong"?

He did not like intellectuals, because he knew and he identified himself with one of the most significant ones and perhaps others seemed fake to him. In Paris except for being the leader of the Greek students he was also one of the favorite students of Nikos Poulantsas, the internationally recognized theorist of structural Marxism.

The worship of one’s own self and the magic of individualism typical for Kostopoulos, can be interpreted as the influence of Poulantsas. The latter liked Kostopoulos for his wit, perseverance and confidence. They were arguing for hours.

"I once asked Poulantsas which books he would recommend me to read to better understand politics", Kostopoulos told me one afternoon. «"Read only "Ruller" by Machiavelli and you will understand everything", he replied without looking at me. You should also do this read "Ruller"».

In "CLICK" and "Nitro" we never discussed and we never wrote about deaths and funerals. He did not want that. "The dark side of life exists and we can not defeat it", he said. "Then why should we pay more attention to it than it deserves? We need to emphasize on the bright side".

How did he create the company ΙΜΑΚΟ

In August 1995 he returned from Mykonos and announced that he was leaving the "special editions" of Aris Terzopoulos in order to create his own journals. He told us that he asked for 15% of the ownership of "CLICK" but Terzopulos refused, and therefore he decided to quit. "I do not want to cause Aris any losses but I extend an open offer to all of you to work for me with the same pay", he said, adding his doubts: «I do not know if I would make it, and if you would have a job after 6 months, so the decision is entirely yours. If you are unsure, you should better to stay in "CLICK"». 78 out of 80 employees followed him without even thinking, we knew that without Petros there was no "CLICK".

Tags: Petros Kostopoulos magazines CLICK Nitro IMAKO bankruptcy editorials
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