The friends who became enemies

by Christos Zampounis

The story begins with the best omens in the 50s. Among the protagonists is the Prime Minister of Greece, Konstantinos Karamanlis. Another, Professor Stratis Andreadis, at the head of the country’s strongest financial Group, with an only competitor, perhaps, Bodosakis. The two men are connected by friendship and live in the same apartment building, on Karneadou Street. Together with their wives, Amalia Megapanou and Rena Koryzis (s.s.: daughter of a banker and later Prime Minister Alexandros Koryzis, who committed suicide during the German invasion in 1941), they participated in the social life of the place. In two words, they were inseparable. What endeared and, two decades later, the former nationalized the empire of the latter? When we talk about empire we have and say: shipping company, Elefsinos Shipyards, Emporiki Bank, Ionian and People’s Bank, Bank of Piraeus, Bank of Attica, Chemical Fertilizer Factory in Nea Karvali Kavala, Hellenic Juice and Canning Industry in Belgium, “Phoenix” insurance companies, “Ioniki” and “General Insurance of Greece”, Oil Refineries in Megara, which never worked. During my stay in Paris, I had the good fortune and the honor to associate with the professor, as he liked to be called since he was dean of the Higher Commerce, as he called the A.S.O.E.E. After persistence, he agreed to grant me the first interview since 1976, the year the nationalization of his Group was completed. His version included the rupture of the friendship, the fault of Karamanlis. The Genesiourogos cause of the misunderstanding is said to be the exhortation of the Serra politician to the Chiot shipowner not to publish the newspaper “Eleftheria”, which daily stated that Andreadis is a tax evader. “Eleftheria”, it should be noted, supported the Center Union, a political opponent of E.R.E., and Karamanlis considered that with her possible condemnation the opposition to her was weakened. Andreadis refused, arguing that “we never sue the press” until Karamanlis used an unyielding argument: “I myself will be a witness in court”. The trial was held, but guess who didn’t show up at the “marble” building on University Street, where the courts were then housed. Since then came the first cooling. The rest is in the autobiography of Stratis Andreadis “The Professor”, which has just been released by Papadopoulos Publications.