Diana Riba alerts on the status of European press freedom
EFA MEP Diana Riba i Giner intervened in plenary on the debate "The erosion of the rule of law in Greece: the wiretapping scandal and media freedom" to alert about the worrisome state of the freedom of the press in the EU.
Diana Riba i Giner MEP brought attention to the situation in Greece and pointed out the challenges and threats Greek journalists face.
"The decline of press freedom in Greece is nothing new. Organisations such as Reporters Without Borders have warned of all kinds of attacks on the practice of journalism:
From impediments to freely covering migration issues, to the risk of losing one's own life."
MEP Riba i Giner noted that Helas was not the only member state in the European Union using these concerning intimidation tactics, and warned of the spreading "pandemic" for press freedom.
"The case of Greece is alarming, but it is only the symptom of a pathology that is spreading: Illegal wiretapping of journalists and political opponents, Media concentration and in some cases closely linked to the political elite, Laws that muzzle freedom of expression."
"As you can see, some or all of the trends we see in Greece would also serve to describe other Member States, including some that claim to be full democracies." She added.
The Catalan MEP expressed the necessity for a European Media Freedom Act to protect and defend journalists and press freedom across the Union, that alongside other legislative measures such as the Anti- SLAPP directive should be the foundation of a free and safe European Media.
"Having the Media Freedom Act on the table is good news, and we will work to make it a strong, ambitious regulation that reflects the importance of media independence and pluralism as public goods."
"This regulation, together with other legislative measures, such as the Anti SLAPP directive, must be the cornerstone of a democratic and resilient media ecosystem in Europe.
"Without press freedom, there is no rule of law, and let us be vigilant because, as the Washington Post reminds us, democracy often dies in darkness." She concluded