The delegation of the Committee on Civil Liberties (LIBE), of the European Union (EU), which was in contact in Greece, recommended increasing initiatives that will contribute to achieving transparency in the country.
The delegation, which came to Greece at the beginning of the week, held a press conference after meeting representatives of non-governmental organizations and journalists.
Head of delegation Sophie Entfeld, in her statement here, read a message of condolence in Greek to those who lost their lives in the train accident in Greece last week and expressed the EU’s support for the Greek people.
Noting that the delegation was there to examine issues such as the rule of law, democracy and fundamental rights in Greece as in the entire European Union, Field lamented that officials such as Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, cabinet members and representatives of the police force were not available to meet the delegation.
Despite Greece having a strict institutional and legal framework, an active civil society and independent media, the delegation notes that there are serious threats to the rule of law and fundamental rights. The checks and balances needed for democracy are under severe strain.” He assessed it.
Sophie Entfeld reports that journalists face intrusion into their private space through physical threats, verbal assaults, and the use of spyware. “The fact that media organizations belong to a small group of oligarchs negatively affects media freedom and pluralism.” He said.
Field stated that some forms of behavior towards migrants, including pushback, violence, arbitrary detention and confiscation of their property at the external borders and within the country, are disturbing and said, “Restrictions on reporting and impressions of NGOs and journalists on the problem of migration must be lifted as soon as possible. They must be adopted and strengthened.” All initiatives that contribute to transparency, such as the Human Rights Commission’s Trauma Reporting Mechanism.” He said.
After the revelation of the “predatory” spyware on the cellphone of Greek journalist Thanassis Kokakis in April 2022, the “eavesdropping scandal” that came to the agenda in Greece brought discussions about freedom of the press in the country.
In the news in the Greek media, the phones of several important politicians, bureaucrats, journalists and businessmen were allegedly wiretapped, including former Prime Minister Andonis Samaras, Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias and Chief of General Staff Konstandanos Floros.
News about the Greek Coast Guard and pushback events, including Frontex, has been in the international press since 2020, and this news often shows Greek Coast Guard boats blocking, damaging and sinking boats of migrants who want to cross. Turkey to Greece claiming that he turned a blind eye to what happened.
Frontex Director Fabrice Leggeri resigned from her position in April 2022, following a report leaked to the European press that senior Frontex officials were concealing potential cases of human rights abuses from agency fundamental rights officials.
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