The Agora


Losing game: Greece's weak defence against hooliganism

Season 3, Ep. 8

Following a deadly attack on a 19-year-old football fan in Thessaloniki in early February, the Greek government has announced new measures aimed at reining in hooliganism.

However, we've been here before in Greece. So, will the latest measures actually make any difference or are they just a knee-jerk, ineffective reaction to a problem that needs a much wider, consistent approach?

We start by asking whether Greece's thinking and methods when addressing sports-related violence are outdated. We spoke to Professor Geoff Pearson, a senior lecturer in criminal law at the University of Manchester, to get a better understanding of how this issue is addressed elsewhere. Geoff is an expert in hooliganism, crowd management and policing.

To discuss Greek football's particular ailments, we spoke to Alexandros Kottis, a freelance journalist based in Athens working for AFP and Courier International, among others. 

He recently wrote an article for the BBC about the sad state of Greek football.

Useful links

Professor Geoff Pearson's publications

The infinite chaos of Greek football: How the latest hope for change was lost by Alexandros Kottis

Alexandros's "Supporters" photo project -

Alkis Kampanos, a 19-year-old Greek football fan murdered for supporting the wrong team - The Athletic

More Episodes

Tuesday, May 16, 2023

Greek elections: A marathon, not a sprint

Season 4, Ep. 5
Greece is holding general elections on Sunday, May 21. The vote might lack the drama of previous elections, when the country’s fate was on the line amid a devastating economic crisis, but it could still end up being a rather complicated and tense process.The Agora returns to examine the key issues going into this ballot, who the main players are, what the parties are promising, how the vote might turn out and why Greece could need a second election, if not a third as well, to choose a workable government this summer.Hosts Nick Malkoutzis and Phoebe Fronista are joined by Angelos Seriatos, head of political & social research at Greek polling firm ProRata, and MacroPolis co-founder Yiannis Mouzakis and our features editor Georgia Nakou to discuss all these issues.Useful reading Extremely complex yet surprisingly simple - austerity haunts Greek election as voters struggle with living costs - PM says country has changed, seeks new mandate to speed up growth - Europe’s Headache, Greece Finds Its Feet -
Friday, December 30, 2022

What's the problem with Greece's media?

Season 4, Ep. 3
Recently Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis dismissed concerns about media independence in his country and labelled the Reporters Without Borders (RSF) assessment of Greece as lying in 108th place in the organisation's annual World Press Freedom Index as "crap".In this episode, Nick Malkoutzis and Phoebe Fronista look into why Greece has scored so badly in the RSF ranking and try to find exactly where the problem with Greece's media lies.They speak to Pavol Szalai, the head of EU/Balkans Desk at RSF, about why Greece scores worse than every other EU country when it comes to media freedom.Also, Yannis Palaiologos, a former Brussels correspondent for Kathimerini newspaper, discusses whether the RSF index provides a true reflection of the shortcomings of journalism in Greece.Useful readingRSF World Press Freedom Index:'s factfile on Greece: game for press freedom in Greece by Stavros Malichudis: Greece became Europe’s worst place for press freedom by Nektaria Stamouli: State of Absolute Solitude by Tassos Telloglou: Photojournalist Nikos Pilos Arrested and Charged:'s triangle of power (2012) by Stephen Grey: