MEPs call for action on rule of law & media freedom
Today, the European Parliament has just voted on a resolution on media freedom and the rule of law in Greece. The situation in Greece is getting progressively worse. The EPP Group has been attempting to block a vote on Greece in the European Parliament.
Gwendoline Delbos-Corfield MEP, Greens/EFA co-signatory to the resolution, comments:
“The EPP would have you believe that Greece is a paradise of economic development, beautiful beaches, and a thriving democracy following the dark days of the financial crisis. But, behind the picture perfect propaganda; fundamental rights, democracy and media freedom are under severe attack in Greece.
“The use of surveillance technologies at the border and the criminalisation of both migrants and the NGO workers attempting to provide support to asylum seekers is shameful and must end.
"Also, the lack of progress on the investigation into the murder of the journalist George Karaivaz and the harassment and intimidation of officials of independent public bodies by the government are deeply alarming.
“Last year, Prime Minister Mitsotakis and his ministers refused to meet with an official Parliament mission of MEPs. The EPP has spent so long and so much political capital shielding their ally in Athens over any real scrutiny. We cannot stand by and watch as the rule of law is being dismantled in an EU country, just as the Commission and Council did with Hungary.”
Petros Kokkalis MEP, Greens/EFA new member from Greece and co-signatory to the resolution, comments:
“This is the first time that the European Parliament is obliged to castigate the state of rule of law in Greece in the half century since the fall of the military Junta. This is a blight on Greece brought on by the New Democracy government.
“A democracy that spies on journalists, opposition politicians, government and military officials, one that obstructs the work of independent authorities, oversteps the constitution, intimidates independent media with Slapps and manipulates parliamentary committees to shield those involved from justice is not a New Democracy, it's a maldemocracy.
“Such practices lead to a culture of impunity for maladministration in all aspects of everyday life from train and shipwrecks to police corruption, brutality and attacks on minorities such as the Roma community and LGBTIQ people. The Greens/EFA Group are calling for the Commission to investigate the situation and use all tools at its disposal to uphold European values and the rule of law.”
The debate on this subject was held during the previous plenary session in January and is available here.