Alexis Papahelas

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Alexis Papahelas or Papachelas (Greek: Αλέξης Παπαχελάς; born 1961), is a Greek investigative journalist and the current Executive Editor of Kathimerini newspaper.[1] He is the creator and principal presenter of the weekly prime time news program called "Oi Neoi Fakeloi" ("The New Files ") on Skai TV, which is a continuation of his show in Mega Channel called "Oi Fakeloi " ("The Files").[2] “The New Files” is an award-winning current affairs documentary series on domestic and international news which as of the season 2009-2010 integrated a series of studio interviews. Papahelas is also a political commentator for the SKAI Evening News, a columnist and the author of two books.[3]


Papahelas was born in Athens in 1961. He attended the Athens College and then went to the United States for his tertiary studies. He studied Economics and History in Bard College and then received a Master's in Journalism and International Relations from Columbia University.[4]

He started his journalistic career as a New York correspondent for the daily Greek newspaper I Avgi in 1983, and continued as correspondent for Kathimerini, the BBC Greek service and Mega Channel. He returned in Greece in 1998 and worked in the newspaper To Vima and in Mega Channel co-hosting, along with Pavlos Tsimas and Tasos Telloglou, Mega Channel’s news program "Mavro Kouti " ("The Black Box") for two years. In 2000, he began the news program "Oi Fakeloi " ("The Folders") in Mega Channel which continued for 7 years.[5] In 2006, Papahelas began writing for Kathimerini and in April 2007 became editor in chief.[6] In October 2007, he began the news program "Oi Neoi Fakeloi" ("The New Folders") in Skai TV with Tasos Telloglou and Sofia Papaioannou.

He has interviewed almost all important political figures of modern Greece as well as various international figures, among which the military commander of the Zapatistas movement Subcomandante Marcos [7] in his hideout in the jungle of Mexico, Yasser Arafat in his headquarters in Ramallah,[8] former UN Secretary General Kofi Atta Annan, Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates, US Presidents Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde, European Commission President José Manuel Barroso, Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan, former Secretary of State Hillary R. Clinton,[9] financier George Soros etc.

He is the creator of a series of pioneer historic documentaries among which one on the 1922 destruction of Smyrna with rare interviews and footage,[10] a series of documentaries on the Greek junta,[11][12] the 1974 Turkish invasion of Cyprus and the issue of Missing Cypriots and a six-part documentary on the political decisions that led to Greece's 2010 bailout from the European Commission, the European Central Bank and the IMF.[13]

In his first book entitled “The rape of Greek democracy” he documented evidence of the relation between CIA and the colonels’ group behind the Greek junta. The cover of the book consisted of a never-before published photograph of later dictator Papadopoulos on a hunting trip with Greek American CIA agents.[14]

He has publically advocated for effective investigative journalism in Greece on a number of occasions,[15] the most well-known of which was when the newspaper he leads exposed the trail of offshore companies behind former Defense Minister Akis Tsochatzopoulos’ real estate assets.[16] The former Minister later denied the allegations during an interview with Papachelas,[17] which provoked extended public interest, as the only in-depth interview of the Minister.[18]

Papachelas was won a number of journalism awards for his personal work and reports of his television program.[19]

He has contributed columns for the New York Times [20] and the Guardian [21] and appears regularly on CNN's Global Exchange.[22]


Papahelas has written two books, touching sensitive aspects of Greek recent history

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