European Federation of Journalists

Greek journalists protest against government plan to reduce TV licence number

Journalists across Greece stopped broadcasting on 11 February from 18:00 until 01:00 in a protest against government plan to reduce the number of TV licences in Greece to only four national commercials broadcasters. The International and European Federations of Journalists (IFJ and EFJ) and its Greek affiliates (JUADN, PFJU, ESPIT and ESIEMTH) demand the Greek government to withdraw immediately the proposal and guarantee media pluralism and transparency in media ownership.

According to the draft law voted on 11 February, the number of TV licences issued to commercial broadcasters will be limited to four. The independent authority (National Broadcasting Council ESR) will be  bypassed and the power to grant TV licenses is transferred to the Press and Media Minister who will now have the right to decide to whom the 4 TV licenses will be granted.

 The IFJ/EFJ  criticised the draft law in October last year when it was first introduced and thousands of Greek journalists held a 24-hour strike against the law. The federations have warned that the law will greatly reduce media pluralism in the country and lead to many job losses.

JUADN demands:

– Rules guaranteeing media ownership transparency,

– An end to media concentration associated with entrepreneurial or political interests,

– And full job protection for all media workers as well as the protection of media staff labor and pension rights as stipulated in Collective Work Agreements and Code of Ethics.