At the request of The Left, MEPs debated rule of law backsliding and media freedom in Greece. This comes after constant warnings from the Parliament, journalists, and civil society that rule of law in Greece is under serious threat. 

Over the years, Prime Minister Mitsotakis’ government has set some dark records: continuous pushbacks of migrants by Greek authorities in complicity with EU border agency Frontex, which culminated in the deadliest shipwreck in nearly a decade in June 2023.

Greece curently ranks as the worst EU country in terms of media freedom and just the day before the European Parliament was set to debate the rule of law situation, the country was condemned by the European Court of Human Rights, for the deadly shooting of a Syrian refugee by the Greek coast guard in 2014. 

Ongoing impunity for the murder of veteran crime reporter Giorgos Karaivaz in broad daylight in 2021 is further chilling proof of how dangerous it became for journalists to do their jobs in Greece. Just before the elections in Greece, two persons were arrested for the assassination, but no trial has begun. 

In its 2023 report on the rule of law in the EU, the European Commission also mentions that threats and attacks against journalists remain a serious issue in Greece. 

In a massive scandal – the Greek Watergate – several journalists, media owners and politicians were spied on  via illegal spyware. The National Intelligence Service (EYP), a body that was brought under the control of the Prime Minister’s office immediately after the Mitsotakis government was formed, did the wiretapping. 

The European Parliament will vote on a resolution on the rule of law and media freedom in Greece in an upcoming plenary session on 5-8 February. 

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