Dionιsis Avgoustiniátos was the “soul” of the newspaper Eleftherotypia owned by Christos (Kitsos) Tegopoulos. D.A, together with Seraphim Fιntanidis were the paper’s two mainstays: the former in administration and management, the latter in editorial. Kitsos Tegopoulos’ treatment of his two basic staff members and his confidence in them created an ideal environment, in which innovations of decisive significance were made that became landmarks in the history of the Greek press.
D.A. had a long career in the daily press, starting in 1945 when, as a young man, he worked in the accounts office of the newspaper Eleftheria owned by Panos Kokkas. He remained there until it closed in 1967. Then he took over the operation of the Eleftheria print shop and presses on Geraniou St, until they were sold in 1972. After the dictatorship, D.A. was one of the first people hired for Eleftherotypia that began in 1975, where he remained until 2007, when he retired at the age of 84.
D.A.’s personal testimony, granted to ETMIET in a long interview, contains a wealth of information on a variety of themes, such as his contribution to the changeover from linotype to phototypesetting, following a long strike by the Press Workers’ Union in June 1980. Eleftherotypia was the first to adopt the new technology, which became established gradually and quite a lot later in the rest of the daily press. Also under D.A.’s watch, the accounts office updated its system from double-entry to computerisation. In his narration, D.A. singled out another two events of decisive significance in the course of the newspaper. The first was when, at a crucial moment that would change the direction of the newspaper radically, D.A. as member of the five-member Board of the company Ch.K. Tegopoulos S.A., cast the decisive vote that secured 100% ownership of Eleftherotypia for Kitsos Tegopoulos. The second was during the newspaper’s great crisis, with the testimony of Tegopoulos to the Special Court in 1989 – owing to which even Seraphim Fyntanidis had prepared his resignation – when the dissolution of Eleftherotypia was prevented by D.A.’s dramatic midnight intervention.
The testimony of Dionιsis Avgoustiniatos is a historic document not only for the student of press history, but also for anyone conducting research into postwar Greek history. ETMIET will make this material public in a separate publication.