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Commissioner concerned about closure of two newspapers in Greece

Statement
Strasbourg 30/01/2017
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I have learned with deep concern that the publication of historic Greek newspapers Ta Nea and To Vima has ceased due to a lack of agreement between their owner, the Lambrakis Press Group, and its lenders.

This situation deals a harsh blow to media pluralism in Greece and shrinks the diversity of sources of information available to citizens. It also shows the acute need that the government and private companies alike pay more attention to the impact that business enterprises have on human rights.

Media freedom and pluralism are a core element of a functioning democracy and as such they must be preserved from public and private activities that can threaten them.

I urge all sides to find a solution which allows resuming the publication of these newspapers rapidly and which respects the socio-economic rights of the papers’ employees.

I also urge the Government of Greece to better protect media pluralism and media freedom, including by ensuring that laws and regulations are in place and enforced to avoid media concentration, a deleterious phenomenon that has increased further to the economic crisis.