Published on 8 Jul 2015

The Greek crisis: on the ground and on Twitter

Last night I responded sharply to an anonymous Greek troll known as @GreekAnalyst, comparing his right-wing network of abusive and unaccountable people, who are reveling in their own country’s destruction, to those who collaborated with the Germans in World War Two.

I have observed this network, on numerous occasions attempt to amplify the distress and panic in Greece by reporting for example, bank runs and food shortages, that at an earlier stage were absent. Their rumour machine was in full swing last night, causing distress to people I was meeting.

I regret causing this furore because it distracts from the fundamental issues. I contacted the Greek analyst offering to revise my judgement about him if he were to reveal his identity, party affiliation and employer.

In the absence of a response, all I can do is explain the context. For the best part of four weeks people on both the right and left of Greek internet have been abusing me, aiming vile abuse against myself, friends and anybody associated with me in Greece. I know other senior journalists that this is happening to, from all sides.

One occasion this spilled over into two Greek businessmen verbally abusing me and physically obstructing me in a hotel lobby, requiring me to adjust my public profile thereafter.

I understand there is rage on all sides in Greece today, and in future I will learn not to feed the trolls.

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2 reader comments

  1. Dave says:

    Paul, Thank you for standing your ground, I watch a lot of news channels and many appear to be a rehash of EU bureaucrats views. Or ignore the bankruptcy of the lenders policies and austerity over the last 5 years. Your view from the ordinary people and analysis of the background to the crisis is no.1 Regards

  2. Rob Jacques says:

    I’ve watched and listened to your work for years and have always found your journalism to be of a very high standard. I can’t be doing with trolls and there’s no place for abuse. But surely you must see that you have become a wee bit evangelical about Greece in general and Varoufakis in particular. Hitching your wagon to such a controversial and – in my view – hopelessly out of his depth showman has holed your credibility as a serious journalist; possibly below the waterline.
    Greece is a basket case. It’s not Syriza’s fault, but their medicine might kill the patient.
    Go on holiday, blow the cobwebs away, and rediscover some objectivity.

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