Monday

23rd Jan 2017

Greek media protest government censorship

Media outlets in Greece plan a 24-hour general strike on Wednesday (31 October) in response to deteriorating press freedoms and cuts in social security and labour rights.

The planned protest follows a two-hour blackout on Tuesday morning at the state broadcaster ERT. ERT management had suspended two of its top presenters on Monday after they criticized interior minister Nikos Dendias.

Dear EUobserver reader

Subscribe now for unrestricted access to EUobserver.

Sign up for 30 days' free trial, no obligation. Full subscription only 15 € / month or 150 € / year.

  1. Unlimited access on desktop and mobile
  2. All premium articles, analysis, commentary and investigations
  3. EUobserver archives

EUobserver is the only independent news media covering EU affairs in Brussels and all 28 member states.

♡ We value your support.

If you already have an account click here to login.

  • Greek media stage a general strike to protest government censorship and weakening labour rights (Photo: AK Rockefeller)

The presenters had admonished state enforcement authorities for having beaten detained left-wing activists. The activists were apprehended during a rally against racism.

The Panhellenic Federation of Journalists’ Unions (Poesy) had warned on Monday it would “escalate the protests for our right to freedom of information” should state broadcaster not immediately reinstate the suspended broadcasters.

Poesy has followed through on its warning.

Hours after the black-out, Greek Finance Minister Yannis Stournaras filed an amendment that could also undermine a health insurance and pension scheme for media, says Poesy on its website.

It is the second general media strike in Greece this month but the latest rally comes on the heels of the arrest of Greek investigative journalist Kostas Vaxevanis.

State authorities on Sunday arrested Vaxevanis for disclosing the names of some 2,000 prominent Greeks who had allegedly hidden away their wealth in HSBC accounts to avoid paying taxes.

Prosecutors accuse Vaxevanis of breaching privacy laws and are set to go on trial Thursday. His lawyers say he could face a €30,000 fine and a minimum one year in prison if found guilty, reports the New York Times.

"We did not even allege that these individuals were guilty, only called for an investigation," said Vaxevanis in the Guardian.

The assault on press freedoms in Greece has raised serious concerns among pro-free speech organizations.

“The quick and aggressive reaction to Vaxevanis for exposing potential tax evasion is an abominable assault on the public's right to hold government to account,” said the New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists in a statement on Tuesday.

The Paris-based Reporters without Borders ranks Greece’s press freedom media index as second to worst in the EU after Bulgaria.

Focus

Anti-HIV measures failing in EU, says WHO

Rates of infection have stayed constant for a decade in the EU, though there has been a massive surge in Russia apparently caused by drug users sharing needles.

News in Brief

  1. Fury over UK 'cover up' of failed missile test
  2. Theresa May: I will not be afraid to stand up to Trump
  3. Brexit will destroy NI peace deal, says Gerry Adams
  4. EU housing price increase by 4.3%
  5. EU trade chief says UK deal will take 'couple of years'
  6. German defence spending boost not enough for Nato goal
  7. Belgian MPs refuse to give up free alcohol
  8. Merkel last leader to get call from Obama

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. World VisionEU Urged to do Better Ahead of Helsinki Conference on Syria
  2. Caritas EuropaEU States to Join Pope Francis’s Appeal to Care for Migrant Children
  3. UNICEFNumber of Unaccompanied Children Arriving by sea to Italy Doubles in 2016
  4. Nordic Council of Ministers"Nordic Matters" Help Forge Closer Bonds Between the UK and the Nordic Region
  5. Computers, Privacy & Data ProtectionThe age of Intelligent Machines: join the Conference on 25-27 January 2017
  6. Martens CentreNo Better way to Lift Your Monday Blues Than to Gloss Over our Political Cartoons
  7. Dialogue PlatformThe Gulen Movement: An Islamic Response to Terror as a Global Challenge
  8. European Free AllianceMinority Rights and Autonomy are a European Normality
  9. Swedish EnterprisesHow to Create EU Competitiveness Post-Brexit? Seminar on January 24th
  10. European Jewish CongressSchulz to be Awarded the European Medal for Tolerance for his Stand Against Populism
  11. Nordic Council of Ministers"Adventures in Moominland" Kick Off Nordic Matters Festival in London
  12. PLATO15 Fully-Funded PhDs Across Europe on the Post-Crisis Legitimacy of the EU - Apply Now!

Latest News

  1. Future of euro on EU agenda This WEEK
  2. Pope warns populism could lead to 'saviours' like Hitler
  3. How the EU can protect the world’s forest by tackling corruption
  4. Leftist newcomer takes lead in French Socialist primary
  5. Far-right groups pledge allegiance ahead of elections
  6. Trump pledges US-first foreign policy
  7. GMO opt-out plan remains in waiting room
  8. Trump: New sheriff in town