One of Greece’s biggest banks has filed a lawsuit against Reuters claiming damages due to a story that exposed a series of property deals between the bank and companies run by the family of its executive chairman.
Simon Robinson and Matthew Tostevin of Reuters write, “Piraeus Bank in Athens has sued both the news agency, a unit of Thomson Reuters Corp, and the article’s author, reporter Stephen Grey. The lawsuit accuses Reuters of malicious defamation and of wishing ‘to harm the entire Greek banking system.’
“The Reuters special report, headlined ‘A Greek banker’s secret property deals’ and published on April 2, reported Piraeus had rented at least seven properties that were owned by a series of private investment companies directed among others by the wife and two children of the bank’s executive chairman, Michalis Sallas, and financed by Piraeus bank loans.
“The lawsuit says: ‘The bank never bought or leased any property, particularly illegal ones, from its chairman or his family.’
“The article was based on a study by Reuters of Greek corporate records and company statements, documents filed in Greek land registries and interviews with legal, accounting and property experts.”
Read more here. A Reuters spokesman says that the news service stands by its story.