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Greek journalists warn over press freedom

Julian Borger
London Guardian [1]
Oct 30, 2012

Greek journalists have warned thatĀ press freedom [2] was under unprecedented attack, with critics being suspended or put on trial by a precarious coalition government struggling to push through an economic austerity programme as a way of attracting foreign funds.

The clash between the government and the press appeared to be nearing a crisis with a strike due to start on Tuesday on state television (ERT) over the suspension of two popular presenters for mild criticism of a minister. Meanwhile, the editor of an investigative magazine went on trial on Monday forĀ publishing a list of some 2,000 wealthy Greeks with Swiss bank accounts [3] who the government has yet to investigate for possible tax evasion.

Dimitris Trimis, the head of the Athens Newspaper Editors Union said the current pressure on press freedom was the most intense of his career. “This is a matter of democracy,” Trimis said. “The government feels insecure. The only way it feels it can convince society of its policies is to try to manipulate the media through coercion.

“This is true of both state television and in the private sector of the media where there has been a large number of lost jobs and wage cuts and so it has become easier to manipulate in the interests of the government and the economic elite.”

Full article here [1]