105 SA and Mr. Michalopoulos

Letter from our association published in EfSyn, one of the main Greek newspapers, on Friday, January 28. In that letter, we explain the close relationship of Mr. Michalopoulos with the company 105 SA, the legal representative of which received a 16 month suspended jail sentence in December 2021 for violations of environmental law. EfSyn had published an article about the court decision on December 16, which wrongly mentioned that the prison sentence had been handed out to Mr. Michalopoulos. That article provoked an out-of-court protest letter by Mr Michalopoulos.

As we explain in our letter, Mr. Michalopoulos founded 105 SA in 2009, and left its Board of Directors in 2015, a few months before the environmental violations took place. However, he maintains full control of the company’s financial activities, and he is closely linked with it. When the company receives positive publicity, Mr Michalopoulos likes to be associated with the company and to be portrayed as an artist and visionary who seeks to transform Ios into the Maldives of the Aegean. However, when the company is convicted for the environmental crimes that it commits, he sends out-of-court protest letters, not revealing his relationship with the company.

Our letter is as follows:

Our association “Save Ios” has as its main goal the protection of the natural environment of Ios and its traditional Aegean character. This is why we have been following with interest the articles in your newspaper regarding Ios.

The most recent article informed your readers about the decision of the Three-Member Court of First Instance of Naxos that imposed a 16-month suspended prison sentence to the legal representative of the company 105 SA for violations of environmental law in the area Koumbara-Diakofto. We also read the out-of-court protest letter that you received from Mr. Angelos Michalopoulos, in which he rightly states that the prison sentence was not imposed on him.

A survey in the General Commercial Register (GEMI https://www.businessregistry.gr/publicity/index) provides the following information about 105 SA and the relationship of Mr. Michalopoulos with it. 105 was founded in 2009 by Mr. Michalopoulos and his wife Ms. Vasiliki Petridou, daughter of Antonios. The funds came almost exclusively from Mr. Michalopoulos.

Mr. Michalopoulos was chairman and CEO of the first Board of Directors (BoD) of 105 SA. He was Vice President of the subsequent boards until May 2015, i.e., a few months before the execution of the works that were judged illegal by the court. At that time, he and his wife left the Board, and Ms Ioanna Petridou, widow of Antonios (Mr Michalopoulos’ mother-in-law) joined as vice-president. The company gave her a wide-range of authorizations, such as to “open bank accounts for the company and move money across them” to “deposit and withdraw money from the company’s accounts”, to “endorse and collect checks “, to” conclude loan agreements of any amount “, etc., and to “appoint proxies or trustees” for the above. In 2019 and 2020 these authorizations were given again to Mr. Michalopoulos.

It is therefore not unreasonable to have the impression that Mr. Michalopoulos and 105 are one and the same. After all, a large part of the press articles that have appeared in print and electronic media in recent years around the activities of 105 in Ios, connected the company with Mr. Michalopoulos, in fact referring to him as “the Lord of Ios”. Mr. Michalopoulos likes to be identified with 105 when the company receives positive publicity. However, when the extensive environmental damage that 105 has caused in Ios (and continues to cause) is punished by the Greek courts, Mr. Michalopoulos sends out-of-court protest letters and conceals his relationship with the company.

* President and secretary, respectively, of “Save Ios”

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