Greece is worst EU country for media freedom: Report – POLITICO

Greece is the lowest-ranked EU nation for press freedom, in accordance with the annual World Press Freedom Index launched Tuesday.

The southeastern nation has changed Bulgaria because the worst-performing EU nation and now ranks 108th — down from seventieth in final 12 months’s index — on an inventory of 180 nations, compiled by Reporters Without Borders.

While the worst offenders in opposition to press freedom are non-EU nations — China, Belarus, Russia, Iran, Myanmar and North Korea — European nations have additionally seen press freedom deteriorate, together with Italy (down 17 spots compared to final 12 months’s rating), Slovenia (down 18 spots), Austria (down 14) and Belgium (down 12).

Greece is amongst an inventory of nations together with Slovenia, Poland and Hungary which have intensified draconian legal guidelines in opposition to journalists, the report says. Athens handed a brand new regulation final 12 months that makes it an offense for residents to unfold “false information” and is punishable by as much as 5 years in jail.

The report additionally notes that these chargeable for the homicide of journalists Daphne Caruana Galizia in Malta and Ján Kuciak in Slovakia have but to be convicted. In Greece, authorities have failed to unravel the homicide of Greek crime reporter Giorgos Karaivaz, who was gunned down outdoors his Athens dwelling in April 2021. 

To mark World Press Freedom day, the European Parliament will debate the difficulty of journalists’ security on Tuesday on the plenary session in Strasbourg, the place Transparency Commissioner Věra Jourová will spotlight plans along with Internal Market Commissioner Thierry Breton to suggest a “Media Freedom Act.”

The act is meant to enshrine media pluralism and independence in EU laws, and can name on EU nations to again Brussels’ new regulation to guard journalists from abusive lawsuits. The measure goals to offer courts extra energy to swiftly dismiss such fits and even use potential penalties in opposition to them.

The World Press Freedom index classifies 180 nations in accordance with the extent of freedom obtainable to journalists, based mostly on an analysis of pluralism, independence of the media and security of journalists in every of the nations.

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