The constitutional manoeuvring taking place in Greece at the level of institutions and individual rights and on the issue of the licencing of the mass media is encapsulated in a typical statement by the government representative: ‘the self-evident right of the Greek people to information on such important issues as yesterday’s summit has been violated by the decision of private channels to broadcast or to conceal whatever they please’. The statement by the government’s representative also officially expresses the government’s position that it is entitled to impose on journalists and on private channels the events they are to broadcast, the way in which they do so and how they are to evaluate them.
In addition, in his interview at the Thessaloniki International Fair, the Prime Minister showed contempt for a journalist from a channel which had not been given a licence. It seems that the government is adopting the same indifferent position regarding the loans made to the channels which are to close, which are in excess of EUR 1 billion.
In view of this:
— There is a clear absence of an institutional framework to protect the mass media and the free expression of journalists across the EU; does the Commission intend to put forward a legislative initiative in this area or to take other action, given the urgency of this problem?
— How will it act quickly to protect workers at the channels that are to shut in the next 80 days and to protect taxpayers from the loss of money from the loans made to the channels that are to close?