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 Athens College and then went to the United States for tertiary studies. He majored in economics and history at Bard College and later received a Master's in Journalism and International Relations from Columbia University.[4]

Papahelas started his journalistic career in 1983, as a New York correspondent for the daily Greek newspaper I Avgi, and continued as a correspondent for Kathimerini, the BBC Greek service and Mega Channel. He returned in Greece in 1998 and worked at the newspaper To Vima and on Mega Channel co-hosting, along with Pavlos Tsimas and Tasos Telloglou, the 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, Papahelas began the news program "Oi Neoi Fakeloi" ("The New Folders") in Skai TV with Tasos Telloglou and Sofia Papaioannou.

Papahelas has interviewed nearly all the important political figures in modern Greece along with various international figures, among them the military commander of the Zapatista movement, Subcomandante Marcos,[7] in his jungle headquarters in Mexico, Yasser Arafat in his headquarters in Ramallah,[8] former UN Secretary General Kofi Atta Annan, Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates, US Presidents Bill Clinton and 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] and financier George Soros.

Papahelas is the creator of a pioneering series of historic documentaries, including one on the 1922 destruction of Smyrna with rare interviews and footage,[10] the 1974 Turkish invasion of Cyprus, the issue of Missing Cypriots, 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,[11] and a series of documentaries on the Greek junta.[12][13]

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

On a number of occasions Papahelas has advocated for effective investigative journalism in Greece.[15] His most well-known instance of investigative journalism occurred when the newspaper he managed exposed a 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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